USDA Extends Summer Meals Operations Through December 31, 2020

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today the extension of critical waivers that will allow the continued operation of the Summer Food Service Program and Seamless Summer Option through December 31, 2020. This extension will ensure schools and private nonprofit organizations have the flexibility needed to reach children who rely on free and reduced-price school meals while schools are shuttered or have schedules that include both remote and in-classroom learning.

FRAC will share more information as updates — including the waiver memos — are available.

The following nationwide waivers have been extended through December 31, 2020.

  • Area Eligibility, which allows meals to be provided in areas that don’t meet the 50 percent area eligibility;
  • Non-Congregate Feeding, which allows meals to be served outside of group settings (meals can be distributed at a site where families pick up the meals, as well as be delivered to children’s homes);
  • Meal Service Times, which provide flexibility to the meal service time requirements by allowing service outside of standard meal times; and
  • Parents and Guardians to Pick Up Meals for Children, which allows a parent or guardian to pick up meals to take home to children.

The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) commends Secretary Perdue and USDA for heeding the bipartisan call to extend these important waivers. While this is an important first step toward ensuring continued access to meals this school year, the nationwide waivers that have been granted for the National School Lunch Program and the Child and Adult Care Food Program are available through June 30, 2021. It is important that the summer program waivers are extended throughout the 2020–2021 school year as well.

Read FRAC’s full statement on the waiver extension here.


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