CACFP COVID-19 Waivers and Flexibilities
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 extended the following nationwide flexibilities to ensure America’s children receive the nutritious food they need throughout the upcoming school year as the nation recovers from the coronavirus. It allows CACFP providers to tailor operations to serve the children in their care. The following waivers will remain in effect through June 30, 2021.
If you plan to participate in any of the waivers listed below, please complete the corresponding survey.
- Nationwide Waiver to Allow Non-congregate Feeding in the Child Nutrition Programs – EXTENSION #2
- Nationwide Waiver to Allow Meal Service Time Flexibility in the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, and Child and Adult Care Food Program – EXTENSION #2
- Nationwide Waiver to Allow Parents and Guardians to Pick Up Meals for Children – EXTENSION #2
- Nationwide Waiver to Allow Meal Pattern Flexibility in the Child Nutrition Programs – EXTENSION #4
- CACFP Meal Pattern Waiver Survey
- Home sponsors need to submit the waiver when home providers inform their sponsor of unavailability.
- Organizations can complete the survey more than once to report food shortages as they occur.
- Nationwide Waiver of Onsite Monitoring Requirements for Sponsors in the Child and Adult Care Food Program COVID-10: Child Nutrition Response #39
- Allows CACFP sponsoring organizations to conduct monitoring reviews offsite (e.g., through a desk audit).
- Centers must complete a survey to notify the State agency of their intention to implement the waiver.
- Home Sponsor organizations must submit a Management Plan Addendum to the State Agency to indicate their request to use the waiver.
Nationwide Waiver to Allow Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Seamless Summer Option Operations through SY 2020–2021 - Extension
- Child care centers may only receive meals from an organization operating the SFSP if they do so through a written contract and pay for the meals.
USDA has issued the following question and answer documents to provide additional guidance and clarification regarding the Nationwide waivers issued by FNS:
- CACFP 01-2021: Questions and Answers Relating to the Nationwide Waiver to Allow SFSP and Seamless Summer Option Operations through School Year 2020–2021 – EXTENSION - Q&As #2 (Questions 8-11 relate to CACFP)
- CACFP 03-2021: Questions and Answers Relating to the Nationwide Waiver to Allow Summer Food Service Program and Seamless Summer Option Operations during School Year 2020–2021 – Q&As #3 (Questions 3-6 relate to CACFP)
- Child Nutrition Programs during School Year 2020–2021 – #5 - CACFP 13-2020
- Questions 7 and 8: there is an option to submit a meal pattern waiver survey if not able to meet the non-fat flavored milk requirement.
- Questions 17-19: also relate to CACFP
- Relating to the Nationwide Waiver to Allow Summer Food Service Program and Seamless Summer Option Operations through December 2020 - CACFP 14-2020
- Questions 1 and 2 relate to CACFP
- Child Nutrition Program Nationwide Waivers: Questions and Answers
- Child Nutrition Program Meal Service During Novel Coronavirus Outbreaks: Questions and Answers #3
- Questions and Answers related to the Child Nutrition Program Monitoring and Reporting Nationwide Waivers
- Child Nutrition Program Meal Service during Novel Coronavirus Outbreaks: Questions and Answers #4
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
Schools Approved to Provide Meals
Schools and non-profit organizations across the state have been approved to provide meals during unanticipated school closures under the USDA Summer Food Service Program. To learn more about approved sites, visit the Iowa Department of Education’s Summer Food Service Program webpage. Home providers receiving meals through SFSP cannot claim those meals for CACFP reimbursement. It is recommended providers maintain a separate record to track meals served from other sources.
To promote and maintain the accountability and integrity of the USDA Child Nutrition Programs, CACFP organizations are required to implement procedures to ensure that meals are responsibly distributed to parents/guardians of eligible students, and that duplicate meals are not distributed. When providing non-congregate meals that are picked up by parents, it is important for parents to be informed to not take a meal or snack for consumption at home if that same meal or snack will be provided by the school. In CACFP child and adult care centers, Head Start, outside school hours, child care, and preschools, children are allowed to receive up to one meal and two snacks or two snacks and one meal per child per day.
Integrity Sign- sample sign that may be posted at meal distribution sites and provided to families.
- Sponsoring Organization Monitoring of the Child and Adult Care Food Program Federal Fiscal Year 2021 Fact Sheet
- CACFP: Providing Multiple Meals at a Time During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic – use of "bulk" foods, best practices, communication, etc.
- Best Practices for Parent Pick-Up of Meals and Snacks
- USDA Flexibilities Provided During COVID-19
- Nutrition Standards for CACFP Meals and Snacks
- Caring for Children with Social Distancing – training sponsored by the National CACFP Sponsors Association
- CACFP Grab ‘n Go Menu
- COVID-19 DHS Resources – childcare guidance and support, including food security
- ServeSafe Delivery and ServeSafe Takeout – free training videos on COVID-19 precautions in English and Spanish
- CDC’s COVID-19 Pandemic Child Care (Re)Opening Decisions Guidance
- CDC Activities and Initiatives Supporting the COVID-19 Response and the President’s Plan for Opening America Up Again – Appendix F: pages 38-41 relate to child care