States switch to their Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) or Seamless Summer Option (SSO) to serve meals to children when schools are closed. Through these summer meal programs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) allows sites to serve up to two free meals a day to children 18 and under.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, signed by President Trump on March 18, 2020, allows USDA the ability to issue nationwide waivers to further increase flexibilities. USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has issued several nationwide waivers to make it as easy as possible for children to receive these meals. As a result of these waivers, schools and other sponsors are creatively feeding kids by delivering meals on bus routes, allowing parents to pick up a weeks’ worth of meals at a time, and entering into public private partnerships like USDA’s partnership with the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty, McLane Global, and PepsiCo, which is providing meals for kids in rural areas. USDA FNS has a current list of approved waivers and meal sites near you.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act also provides states with the option to provide EBT benefits to children who would normally be receiving free and reduced priced meals if schools were not closed due to COVID-19, known as Pandemic EBT or P-EBT. USDA has provided guidance to states on operating this program and continues to provide technical assistance to interested states. For logistical information about meal service, please contact your local state agency or school food authority.
Yes. Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, signed into law by President Trump on March 18, 2020, the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) issued a nationwide waiver allowing parents and guardians to pick-up meals and bring them home for their children.
Yes, so long as the school food authority has state agency approval, the necessary federal approvals, and adheres to all federal confidentiality requirements. For more details, see the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) meal delivery information.
Yes. Schools can provide up to two meals and/or snacks per day (excluding lunch and dinner in the same day). Under the nationwide waivers currently in place, multiple days of meals can be picked up at one time.
Yes. All states currently have a waiver in place that allows schools to serve meals through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) or Seamless Summer Option (SSO) during unexpected school closures, such as the current national emergency.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has provided a nationwide waiver for states to locally waive specific meal pattern requirements as needed to support access to nutritious meals when certain foods are not available due to the novel coronavirus. Local program operators must contact the state agency for approval to utilize this waiver, and requests should be targeted and justified based upon disruptions to the availability of food products resulting from unprecedented impacts of COVID-19.