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CACFP COVID-19 Waivers and Flexibilities

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The Iowa Department of Education Bureau of Nutrition and Health Services has received approval from USDA Food and Nutrition Services of waivers to support access to nutritious meals through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) during the COVID-19 pandemic.

USDA Nationwide Waivers

USDA has issued several new COVID-19 waivers for the school year 2021-22. The CACFP waivers approved in Iowa are listed below. Waivers are intended to support CACFP providers in continuing to offer nutritious meals while safely and successfully reopening. 

#95 - Allows State agencies to conduct monitoring reviews off site - effective immediately and ends 30 days after the end of the public health emergency as determined by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
#96 - Allows CACFP Sponsors to conduct self-monitoring reviews off site - effective immediately and ends 30 days after the end of the public health emergency as determined by HHS.

USDA Memos

CACFP 02-2022 - Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Flexibilities During COVID-19 Supply Chain Disruptions - This memo provides guidance on flexibilities, and opportunities for discretion while monitoring meal pattern compliance, during COVID-19 supply chain disruptions. The content is summarized below:

  • The State agency is not required to take fiscal action if programs that prepare meals on site do not meet CACFP requirements if they determine that corrective action will be effective.
  • Non-competitive procurement is allowed if needed due to the public emergency.
  • The CACFP operator may apply for a waiver for the areas listed below to address supply chain issues that impact their ability to follow the meal pattern. A meal pattern waiver request must be completed and approved by the State agency in order to use the waiver.
  • 1% milk served to school aged children and adults can be flavored
  • the implementation of grain ounce equivalents can be delayed past 10/1/2021
  • the whole grain-rich requirement may be waived
  • If fluid milk is not available, the State agency may approve serving powdered or evaporated milk instead
  • Organizations should continue to meet meal pattern requirements to the fullest extent possible.
  • Menu substitutions must be recorded and final menus on file must document the actual meal components served. The reasons for substitutions must be documented and kept on file.
  • The State agency will prioritize providing technical assistance over fiscal action during reviews for non-compliance related to supply chain issues.

USDA Waiver Requests - Public Notification

The Iowa Department of Education Bureau of Nutrition and Health Services is seeking the following waivers from the United State Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service.

Submitted and Approved USDA Waiver Request

Submitted USDA Waiver Requests

  • None at this time.

For more information on USDA waivers, contact the CACFP Nutrition Consultant in your region: