USDA issues new meal flexibility waiver due to supply chain shortages

The waiver prevents school nutrition programs from being penalized if they do not follow certain meal pattern requirements.
A student receives a plate of food in the cafeteria
Photo: Shutterstock

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued a new waiver that allows school nutrition programs to avoid financial penalties if they do not follow certain meal pattern requirements due to supply chain shortages.

“This waiver is a huge relief for school nutrition professionals who are working so hard to serve our students healthy meals in the face of unprecedented challenges,” Beth Wallace, president of the School Nutrition Association, said in a statement. “We have spent the last several months scrambling to secure foods and supplies for our students’ meals and re-working our menus when our orders have been canceled or deliveries delayed.”

School nutrition programs around the country continue to struggle with product procurement as a result of supply chain disruptions. Earlier this week, Dallas ISD announced it would be serving only finger foods during select meals due to challenges with finding enough flatware.

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