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USDA extends child nutrition waivers through upcoming school year

Waivers on meal pattern flexibility, congregate meals, meal times, and parent and guardian meal pickup have all been extended.
Photograph: Shutterstock

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has extended its waivers on meal pattern flexibility, congregate meals, meal times, and parent and guardian meal pickup through June 30, 2021. 

These waivers will give school nutrition professionals the ability to provide new and innovative feeding options that will keep kids fed and safe during the upcoming school year, the USDA says. 

The USDA has also introduced a new waiver that allows nutrition programs to not use “offer versus serve” in high schools, citing that the practice would be hard to execute if schools were serving meals in classrooms and trying to maintain social distancing measures. 

Earlier this summer, the School Nutrition Association (SNA) called on the USDA to extend COVID-19 emergency feeding waivers through the 2020-21 school year as well as to allow districts to provide universal free meals. The SNA argued that these changes would enable operators to best serve students when they return in the fall. 

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