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See OSPI’s COVID-19 guidance and resources for educators, students, and families.

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Nutrition & Meals Guidance

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person-to-person and the number of cases in Washington is growing. Below are guidance and resources for school districts to use as they continue to provide meals during school closures. 

Organizations Providing Meals During COVID-19 Shutdown Map

This newly released map of Organizations Providing Meals During COVID-19 Shutdown is an interactive tool that connects families to district and organization websites for more information regarding meal services near them. NOTE: This map only works on modern browsers such as Firefox, Google Chrome, and Microsoft Edge; it will not work on Internet Explorer. 

Operating CACFP During Unanticipated School/Center Closures

If you regularly operate the Child and Adult Care Program (CACFP) during the year, there are options for you to continue serving reimbursable meals during unanticipated school/center closures. We encourage School and Community Sponsors to work together to provide meals to children in their community during unanticipated closures through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and CACFP. Please contact your CACFP program specialist for more details.

Community-Based (Non-Profit) At-Risk Sponsors

Can continue to provide meals to children that would regularly attend your program.

Childcare/ECEAP/Head Start Sponsors

Can continue to serve meals to children enrolled in your center in a non-congregate manner. 

Do you plan to serve more than one meal at a time? Or offer a meal delivery service to children in your community? 

Complete the CACFP Sponsor Meal Distribution Plan and submit to your CACFP program specialist.

Interested in Becoming a CACFP Sponsor?

School sponsors providing extended day childcare for first responders can apply to CACFP to claim meals through the At-Risk program if located in area eligible locations. 

We are not accepting new CACFP At-Risk sponsors (community-based non-profits) application at this time of school closure.

Unanticipated Closure Resources 

Important Updates

USDA Extends 4 Nationwide Waivers

  • COVID-19: Child Nutrition Response #22 - Nationwide Waiver to Allow Non-Congregate Feeding in the Child Nutrition Programs - EXTENSION
    • This waiver applies to the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP), Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), and Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).
    • This extended waiver allows meals to be served in a non-congregate meal setting.
    • This waiver extends through August 31, 2020. 
    • Washington State will participate in this waiver.
  • COVID-19: Child Nutrition Response #23 - Nationwide Waiver to Meal Time Flexibility in the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, and Child and Adult Care Food Program - EXTENSION
    • This waiver applies to the NSLP, SBP, and CACFP.
    • The SFSP and Seamless Summer Option meal time flexibility is permitted under COVID-19: Child Nutrition Response #17 (this waiver is extended through September 30, 2020).
    • This waiver allows program sponsors to adjust meal times as needed.
    • This waiver extends through August 31, 2020. 
    • Washington State will participate in this waiver.
  • COVID-19: Child Nutrition Response #24 - Nationwide Waiver to Allow Meal Pattern Flexibility in the Child Nutrition Programs - EXTENSION
    • This waiver applies to the NSLP, SBP, CACFP, and SFSP.
    • This waiver allows sponsors to serve meals that do not meet the meal pattern requirements.
    • Sponsors are approved on a case-by-case basis. If your organization is unable to locate a particular item, contact your program specialist.
    • This waiver extends through June 30, 2020. 
    • Washington State will participate in this waiver.
    • As a reminder, Federal procurement regulations at 2 CFR 200.320(f) allow procurement by noncompetitive proposals when there is a public emergency.
  • COVID-19: Child Nutrition Response #25 - Nationwide Waiver to Allow Parents and Guardians to Pick Up Meals for Children - EXTENSION
    • This waiver applies to NSLP, SBP, CACFP, SFSP, and the Seamless Summer Option.
    • This waiver allows parents and guardians to pick up meals for their children.
    • Program operators must maintain program integrity and ensure duplicate meals are not distributed.
    • This waiver also applies to guardians picking up meals for adult participants in the CACFP.
    • This waiver extends through August 31, 2020. 
    • Washington State will participate in this waiver.

Sponsors applying for the 'traditional' Summer Food Service Program will be able to indicate which waivers they plan to implement during the application process on the SFSP Online Application Checklist.

USDA Releases 4 Additional Nationwide Waivers

USDA Releases Additional Nationwide Waivers

OSPI Child Nutrition Services is reviewing these memos. Additional information will be released as procedures are put into place. 

USDA Releases 4 Additional Nationwide Waivers

Recently, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released four (4) Q&A policy memos related to School Meal Programs.

USDA Releases 5 Additional Nationwide Waivers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently released 5 additional nationwide waiver approval letters for states under Section 2202 of H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act related to Child Nutrition. 

  • COVID-19: Child Nutrition Response #7;  Nationwide Waiver of Monitoring Requirements for Sponsors in the Child and Adult Care Food Program
    • This waiver applies to the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).
    • This waiver allows sponsors to:
      • Conduct 2 facility reviews, instead of 3.
      • Conduct 1 unannounced visit, instead of 2.
      • Not observe a meal service.
      • To have more than 6 months between reviews.
      • Review new facilities as a desk review.
    • Washington State will participate in this waiver.
    • This waiver is effective immediately and will remain in effect until June 30, 2020, or until expiration of the federally declared public health emergency, whichever is earlier.
    • Sponsors must notify OSPI CNS if they intend to participate in this waiver - procedure to come.
  • COVID-19: Child Nutrition Response #8;  Nationwide Waiver of Onsite Monitoring Requirements for State Agencies in the Child and Adult Care Food Program

    • This waiver applies to the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).
    • This waiver allows OSPI CNS to conduct Administrative Reviews as a desk audit and waives the requirement for on-site visits for reviews during the emergency.
    • Washington State will participate in this waiver.
    • There are no further requirements from sponsors at this time.
    • This waiver is effective immediately and will remain in effect until June 30, 2020, or until expiration of the federally declared public health emergency, whichever is earlier.
  • COVID-19: Child Nutrition Response #9;  Nationwide Waiver of Onsite Monitoring Requirements in the School Meals Programs

    • This waiver applies to the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP).
    • This waiver allows OSPI CNS to conduct Administrative Reviews as a desk audit and waives the requirement for on-site visits for reviews during the emergency.
    • Washington State will participate in this waiver.
    • There are no further requirements from sponsors at this time.
    • This waiver is effective immediately and will remain in effect until June 30, 2020, or until expiration of the federally declared public health emergency, whichever is earlier.
  • COVID-19: Child Nutrition Response #10;  Nationwide Waiver of Onsite Monitoring Requirements for Sponsoring Organizations in the Summer Food Service Program

    • This waiver applies to all organizations operating the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) during the unanticipated school closure.
    • This waives onsite monitoring requirements, but requires sponsors to monitor program operations offsite to the maximum extent practicable.  
    • Washington State will participate in this waiver.
    • Sponsors must notify OSPI CNS if they intend to participate in this waiver - procedure to come.
    • This waiver is effective immediately and will remain in effect until June 30, 2020, or until expiration of the federally declared public health emergency, whichever is earlier.
  • COVID-19: Child Nutrition Response #12; Nationwide Waiver of 60 Day Reporting Requirements for January and February 2020
    • This waiver applies to all Child Nutrition Programs (NSLP, SBP, CACFP, SFSP, and the Special Milk Program)
    • This waiver extends the 60-day claim deadline for the months of January and February 2020 by an additional 30 calendar days.  
      • January 2020 claims are due by May 1, 2020.
      • Feburary 2020 claims are due by May 30, 2020.
    • Washington State will participate in this waiver.
    • Sponsors must notify OSPI and work with CNS claims staff to utilize this waiver.
    • This waiver is effective immediately and only applies for January and February 2020 claims.

Waiver Granted for Area Eligibility

USDA’s Food and Nutrition and Consumer Services (FNCS) granted an eligibility waiver to Washington state. Under a provision in Section 2102 of the recently enacted H.R. 6201, The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, this waiver expands the area or number of service sites for meals. This provision removes the requirements that the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Seamless Summer Option (SSO) sites must be located in those areas in which 50% or more participant are eligible for the free or reduced-price meals.

Non-Area Eligible sites are approved on a case-by-case basis. OSPI CNS recommends to work with your local partners to feed children at area eligible sites to the maximum extent practicable.

This waiver remains in effect until June 30, 2020, or until the expiration of the federally declared public health emergency.

USDA Releases 6 Nationwide Waivers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently released 6 nationwide waiver approval letters for states under Section 2202 of H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act related to Child Nutrition.

1. COVID-19: Child Nutrition Response #1;  Nationwide Waiver to Allow Meal Service Time Flexibility in the Child Nutrition Programs

    • This waiver applies to the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, and Summer Food Service Program.
    • Waives meal time requirements to support streamlined access to meals including providing more than 1 meal during pick up or delivery service.
    • Washington State will participate in this waiver.
    • There are no further requirements from sponsors at this time.
    • This waiver is effective immediately and will remain in effect until June 30, 2020, or until expiration of the federally declared public health emergency, whichever is earlier.

    2. COVID–19: Child Nutrition Response #2; Nationwide Waiver to Allow Non-congregate Feeding in the Child Nutrition Programs

      • This waiver applies to the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, and Summer Food Service Program.
      • Allows for meal service using grab and go and meal delivery options. 
      • Washington State will participate in this waiver.
      • There are no further requirements from sponsors at this time.
      • This waiver is effective immediately and will remain in effect until June 30, 2020, or until expiration of the federally declared public health emergency, whichever is earlier.

      3. COVID-19: Child Nutrition Response #3; Nationwide Waiver of the Activity Requirement in Afterschool Care Child Nutrition Programs

        • This waiver applies to afterschool snacks in the National School Lunch Program and at-risk afterschool meals and snacks in the Child and Adult Care Food Program.
        • Waives the requirement for schools and at risk afterschool care centers to serve meals and snacks in a structured and supervised environment, with an education or enrichment activity.
        • Washington State will participate in this waiver.
        • There are no further requirements from sponsors at this time.
        • This waiver is effective immediately and will remain in effect until June 30, 2020, or until expiration of the federally declared public health emergency, whichever is earlier.

        4. COVID–19: Child Nutrition Response #4; Nationwide Waiver to Allow Meal Pattern Flexibility in the Child Nutrition Programs

          • This waiver applies to the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, and Summer Food Service Program.
          • This waives the requirements to serve meals that meet the meal pattern requirements.
          • Washington State will participate in this waiver.
          • Sponsors are approved on a case-by-case basis – OSPI CNS is currently working on a procedure for this. Please keep an eye out for future CNS updates regarding next steps.
          • This waiver is effective immediately and will remain in effect until April 30, 2020, or until expiration of the federally declared public health emergency, whichever is earlier.
          • As a reminder, Federal procurement regulations at 2 CFR 200.320(f) allow procurement by noncompetitive proposals when there is a public emergency.

          5. COVID–19: Child Nutrition Response #5; Nationwide Waiver to Allow Parents and Guardians to Pick Up Meals for Children

            • This waiver applies to the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, and Summer Food Service Program.
            • This allows program operators to distribute meals to a parent or guardian to take home to their children. Program integrity must be maintained. Program operators must have processes in place to ensure:
              • Meals are distributed only to parents or guardians of eligible children;
              • Duplicate meals are not distributed to any child.
              • Washington State will participate in this waiver.
              • OSPI CNS is currently working on a procedure for this. Please keep an eye out for future CNS updates regarding next steps.
              • This waiver is effective immediately and will remain in effect until June 30, 2020, or until expiration of the federally declared public health emergency, whichever is earlier.

              Additionally, USDA released COVID–19: Child Nutrition Response #6; Nationwide Waiver of Community Eligibility Provision Deadlines in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. Which extends the School Year 2020-21 CEP application deadline until August 31, 2020. Please read the full policy for additional information.

              Washington State is requesting a waiver extension of USDA's COVID-19 Child Nutrition Response #11 Nationwide Waiver of Onsite Monitoring Requirement’s for State Agencies in the Summer Food Service Program. This waiver currently allows State Agencies to complete SFSP reviews off-site through June 30, OSPI is requesting this waiver to extend through August 31, 2020.

              The Office of the Superintendent is requesting a waiver from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to waive the review requirements for school food authorities operating the Summer Food Service Program for the first time. This waiver would allow OSPI to implement  an alternate process to review and provide technical assistance to sponsors.

              OSPI is seeking this waiver to reduce administrative burden and allow for continuing support to sponsors providing meals during the COVID 19 pandemic.

              On March 27, 2020 the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Services approved Washington state’s request for a waiver of the restrictions on site eligibility requirements in the Summer Food Service Program and the Seamless Summer Option of the National School Lunch Program.

              This waiver allows sites to operate in areas that are not designated as area eligible (high needs). This waiver was approved to be effective through June 30, 2020.  

              OSPI is seeking an extension of this waiver through August 31, 2020 in order to maintain children’s access to meals during the novel coronavirus  (COVID-19) pandemic.

              On 4/21, OSPI requested a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to reduce the minimum enrollment thresholds for CACFP For-Profit Centers. Centers are facing changing enrollment factors as many non-essential workers are ordered to stay home. For-profit childcare centers may not claim reimbursement for meals served to children in any month in which less than 25% of the children in care qualify for free or reduced-price meals, this waiver would allow centers to claim the children they are serving, even if they are not meeting the threshold. 

              Food Handler Card Requirements for COVID-19 Meal Service

              It is important that everyone involved with emergency meal service during the COVID-19 school closure has basic food safety training.

              The current Washington State Health Department requirements for who needs to have a Food Handler’s Card is as follows:

              • Required for all food workers that prepare/come in contact with food
                • Staff/volunteers that distribute packaged meals or assemble meals that contain only commercially packaged items do NOT need Food Handler cards.
              • Staff/volunteers with no card are approved to prepare food for up to 14 days as long as they receive training by a manager / person in charge.

              If your school district or organization is facing any challenges in meeting these requirements, please contact us at summermeals@k12.wa.us.

              Multiple days of Meal Service

              We have relayed information about the availability of providing up to five days’ worth of meals at one time, with a submission of the Meal Distribution Plan Addendum. We realize that many of you are coming up on spring break next week and may want to provide five days’ worth of meals along with Friday’s meal. This is allowable.

              Please direct any questions to your program specialist.

              Completing Your WINS Application for SFSP

              There are many questions regarding submitting your application for SFSP in WINS. OSPI CNS created short videos to assist you through this process. 

              For a link to the videos, please email Sara Stamos, or reach out to your program specialist.

              Guidance continues to be updated, please refer to the most current CNS Update. 

              Important COVID-19 Coronavirus Information-Serving Meals

              Thank you to everyone as we continue to navigate a response to this COVID-19 outbreak. We appreciate your questions and patience! We continue to communicate to USDA on a daily basis, to seek guidance, and check on status of waivers. Please review the CNS Update provided on March 6 regarding waiver requests.

              Additionally, the USDA has released a question and answer document providing guidance for Child Nutrition Program Meal Service during COVID-19 outbreaks. We are working on resources and detailed guidance. 

              The following outlines the most common scenarios. Additionally, please follow any directions from your local health jurisdiction regarding meal distribution.

              One or more schools in our district will be closed intermittently for deep cleaning. Can we feed students from these schools? Yes! Options include:

              • Serve meals through NSLP/SBP: Serve students from the closed school site. (Meals can be prepared on-site, or off-site.)
              • Serve meals through NSLP/SBP: Serve students from the closed school from another operating school site. 
              • Meals may be served as “grab n go”.
              • Meal counts NSLP/SBP must maintain by name meal counting.
              • Serve up to two meals at one time (i.e. breakfast AND lunch).
              • Serve meals through SFSP/SSO: See below.

              One or more schools OR our entire district is closed. We participated in the SFSP/SSO in the past two years, can we serve meals and claim them under SFSP/SSO? Yes!

              • Serve meals through SFSP or SSO.
              • Serve all children ages 0–18 years.
              • Meals may be served as “grab n go”.
              • Meal counts for SFSP or SSO can be by tally sheet (by name meal counting is NOT required).
              • Serve up to two meals at one time (i.e. breakfast AND lunch).
              • The WINS SFSP/SSO application opens Friday, March 13.
              • Visit the SFSP webpages for more information about meal pattern, tally sheets, training, and more.
              • Visit the SSO webpages for more information about meal pattern, tally sheetstraining, and more.
              • Notify OSPI immediately if you plan to operate SFSP or SSO.
                • Complete the COVID-19 Meal Distribution Plan.
                • Want to operate SSO? Submit this form to your NSLP specialist.
                • Plan to operate SFSP? Submit this form to summermeals@k12.wa.us.

              One or more schools OR our entire district is closed. We have never participated in the SFSP/SSO, but we have area eligible sites (50% or more Free and Reduced-Price (F/RP)) are there meal service options for us? Yes!

              • Serve meals through SSO (at schools that qualify as area eligible).
              • Serve all children ages 0 – 18 years.
              • Meals may be served as “grab n go”.
              • Meal counts for SSO can be by tally sheet (by name meal counting is NOT required).
              • Serve up to two meals at one time (i.e. breakfast AND lunch).
              • The WINS SFSP/SSO application opens Friday, March 13.
              • Visit the SFSP webpages for more information about meal pattern, tally sheets, training, and more.
              • Visit the SSO webpages for more information about meal pattern, tally sheetstraining, and more.
              • Notify OSPI immediately if you plan to operate SSO.
                • Complete the COVID-19 Meal Distribution Plan.
                • Submit this form to your NSLP specialist.

              One or more schools OR our entire district is closed and schools in our district are not area eligible (less than 50% F/RP). Are there options for feeding students? Yes!

              • Serve meals through NSLP/SBP (if some schools are open) – see above.
              • Operate a “Closed Enrolled Site” through the SSO program.
                • Closed Enrolled Sites target low-income students in non-area eligible schools.
              • This option takes careful planning - please consult with your program specialist.
              • Visit the SSO webpages for more information about meal pattern, tally sheetstraining, and more.
              • Notify OSPI immediately if you plan to operate SSO.
                • Complete the COVID-19 Meal Distribution Plan.
                • Submit this form to your NSLP specialist.

              Do we have to follow the meal pattern requirements?

              Yes. As of now, USDA has not waived meal pattern requirements. OSPI Child Nutrition Services is exploring the potential need to waive meal pattern requirements in particular the vegetable sub groups and milk requirements.  We will notify all local education agencies as new information becomes available.

              USDA has waived the Offer vs. Serve requirements and schools must serve a unitized meal. We encourage a simple menu that meets meal pattern requirements and is comprised of single use packaged items, as available. Schools may wish to contact their local health department for strategies to reduce contact and contamination. 

              Thinking of offering the SFSP?

              Visit the SFSP webpages for more information about meal pattern, tally sheets, training, and more!

              Thinking of offering the SSO?

              Visit the SSO webpages for more information about meal pattern, tally sheetstraining, and more!

              Please be patient. We are releasing guidance as soon as it becomes available and answering individual questions as quickly as possible. Program regulations can be complicated and we want to ensure students are fed and regulations for operation are met in these unprecedented circumstances. 

              Guidance continues to be updated, please refer to the most current CNS Update. 

              COVID-19 USDA Waiver Request

              OSPI continues to monitor the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and work in collaboration with health and government officials. Please continue to monitor the situation in your community and work with your local health jurisdiction for information and guidance.

              The following outlines options for meal service during interruptions and closures to school days.

              • If a district/school is closed but still “operational” (i.e. distance learning/certain schools open):
                 - Meals may be served through NSLP/SBP.
                 - Follow your approved counting and claiming (by name meal counts unless operating CEP or Provision).
                 - Grab-n-Go / sack lunches are allowed.
              • If a district/school is closed:
                 - Qualifying schools/site may operate the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) or Seamless Summer Option (SSO).
                 - Qualifying school/site: Area Eligible by school data (F/R ≥50%) or census data.
                 - Refer to the Unanticipated School Closure reference sheet.
                 - Congregate (group) meal service is required (i.e. Grab-N-Go is NOT allowable).
              • Meal pattern requirements are still in effect. However, strategies to minimize exposure should be considered (CNS is in the process of creating a tip sheet on best practices.)

              Waiver requests to USDA
              OSPI is seeking two waivers from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Services. The purpose of these waivers is to support schools and communities in providing meals to children in areas experiencing school closures in response to COVID-19.

              1. Waiver to allow operation of the SFSP/SSO for emergency school closures in non-Area Eligible schools/locations.
                This waiver would allow schools in areas not designated as high need to offer meals to students under the Emergency School Closure provision of the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) or Seamless Summer Option (SSO).  
                • 3/27/2020 This waiver has been approved.
              2. Waiver to allow non-congregate feeding during operation of the SFSP/SSO for emergency school closures.
                This waiver would allow for a Grab-N-Go meal service that would limit participants’ interaction and proximity to other participants and therefore decrease the risk of COVID-19 exposure. 
                • 3/6/2020 This waiver has been approved.

               Additionally, CNS is working with Food Banks and Hunger Advocacy groups to provide support to communities experiencing school closures.

              Unanticipated Closure Resources 

              Frequently Asked Questions

              Sponsors have the option to serve meals under the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) or the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) during unanticipated school closures.

              Sponsors are not required to serve meals during an unanticipated school closure. However, sponsors are encouraged to develop plans and resources to ensure low-income families’ needs are met during extended closures.

              Sponsors are allowed to provide free meals and claim reimbursement for meals served to children who are 18 years old or younger and adults under twenty one years of age that are enrolled in a Washington school district’s educational program.

              All sponsors operating the SFSP must follow the SFSP Meal Pattern. All SFSP rules must be maintained unless specifically noted.

              Training is not required for returning sponsors to operate during unanticipated school closures.

              New SFSP sponsors must complete Civil Rights and Procurement training in the operating year. Additionally, new sponsors must complete the Intro to SFSP training, and New Sponsors Recorded Training – you must reach out to your program specialist for these trainings. If you have not completed a Civil Rights or Procurement training in the calendar year, you can find links on our SFSP Training webpage.

              Sponsors who contract with FSMCs and who want to operate during school closure due to COVID-19, need to ensure that their contract includes the operation of SSO/SFSP. If your contract does not include the operation of the SFSP/SSO you will need to complete an amendment. Email Jeff Booth for assistance.

              SFA sponsors that do not currently operate a summer program can operate under the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) or the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) during emergency school closures. A new Permanent Agreement must be on file to include the SFSP. Program specialists will work with you to ensure this documentation is obtained. 

              Either school data or Census data can be used to establish area eligibility in SSO or SFSP. In order to use school data, the meal service site must be located within the attendance area of a school where at least 50% of the students are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals. For Census data, the Averaged Eligibility Map should be used. Sites located in an orange or blue area on the map are eligible based off Census data. 

              SFA sponsors can use any month from SY 19-20 to qualify their site as area eligible. This data should be included with the submission of your Meal Distribution Plan.

              During the COVID-19 outbreak, school districts can operate non-area eligible sites as open sites under SSO/SFSP.

              Yes, bus routes and other delivery methods may be used to deliver meals. For all delivery methods, meal counts must be maintained and claimed by the school for which the children fall in the attendance area of. Each site must have site application and calendar submitted in WINS. Schools must protect the confidentiality of students and their households throughout this process. Sponsors who want to provide home deliveries must request and submit the Unanticipated Closures – Meal Distribution Plan Addendum to their program specialist.

              The Unanticipated Closures Meal Distribution Plan must be submitted to your CNS Program Specialist prior to serving meals during the unanticipated school closure. Once OPSI has received the Meal Distribution Plan and confirmed area eligibility for sites to operate, the sponsor may serve and claim meals. The WINS SSO/SFSP application must be submitted prior to meals being claimed.

              OSPI must be notified immediately if a sponsor plans to serve meals during an unanticipated school closure and the Meal Distribution Plan must be submitted. Once OSPI has received the Meal Distribution Plan and confirmed eligibility of the sites to operate, the sponsor may be eligible to serve meals. The WINS SSO/SFSP application must be submitted and approved, in order for the meals to be eligible for reimbursement.

              Sponsors are not required to submit a Media Release but are required to advertise within the community that free meals are available during the unanticipated school closure. This can be done in a number of ways. Please consider area children enrolled in programs participating in CACFP that may also be affected by the closure of childcare centers or ECEAP/Head Start programs. Use of reader boards or the school district website is encouraged to promote free meals within the community. It is discouraged to send students of a closed school to an operating school to receive meals. Please operate all sites in accordance with the local health department’s guidance. 

              In order to minimize potential exposure to COVID-19, USDA had waived the requirements to conduct on-site monitoring visits for sponsors serving emergency meals under SFSP. Sponsors to the maximum extent practicable should monitor activities of program operations. This waiver remains in effect through June 30, 2020 or until expiration of the federally declared public health emergency, whichever is earlier. All monitoring visit forms can be found on the SFSP Program Materials and Required Forms webpage.  

              Yes, sponsors operating SSO must meet all NSLP meal pattern requirements, including vegetable subgroups and milk variety. 

              Document what foods you are not able to obtain, as well as what you substituted, and notify your program specialist – we must document the types of shortages sponsors are experiencing. There is a waiver available to Sponsors who have challenges meeting meal pattern requirements in light of the public health emergency. If you have questions about substitution options or want to submit a Meal Pattern Waiver Request Form, please contact your program specialist.

              As a reminder, federal procurement regulations at 2 CFR 200.320(f) allow procurement by noncompetitive proposals when there is a public emergency.

              Milk is a required component for all child nutrition programs, however, regulatory guidance allows State agencies to approve continued meal service if emergency conditions prevent a sponsor normally having a supply of milk from temporarily obtaining milk deliveries. OSPI CNS will allow meal service to continue without milk/ milk alternate if the milk supply is not available according to 7 CFR 210.10(d)(2) for sponsors operating the NSLP/SSO and 7 CFR 225.16(f)(6) for sponsors offering the SFSP. Please contact your program specialist if you are experiencing an issue with your milk supply.

              If non-congregate meals (i.e. grab and go) are being served, unitized meals, including milk, must be served. Offer vs. Serve is not allowed. 

              Sponsors are required to make substitutions to meals for participants with a disability that restricts participant’s diet on a case-by-case basis and only when supported by a written statement from a State licensed healthcare professional, who is authorized to write medical prescriptions under State law.

              Sponsors may distribute two meal types in one meal service. Sponsors should note on the top of the daily Meal Tally Form, the specific meals being provided. For example, if both breakfast and lunch are being distributed, “Breakfast and Lunch provided to each student” should be noted on the daily Meal Tally Form. Separate Meal Tally Forms would not need to be kept for both breakfast and lunch, if this procedure is followed. Each sponsor must submit a COVID-19 Meal Distribution plan prior to serving meals. The meal distribution plan should detail how sponsor plans to track the meals distributed and what food safety precautions will be taken. 

              USDA guidance allows for a weeks’ worth of meals be served at one time. Sponsors who want to serve multiple days’ worth of meals must consult with their local health department and submit to your program specialist, the Unanticipated Closures – Meal Distribution Plan Addendum.

              Yes, USDA guidance allows for a weeks’ worth of meals be served at one time. Please reach out to your program specialist for additional guidance if you would like to serve weekend meals.

              Sponsors may choose to serve meals to adults. An adult who works directly with the meal service at the summer site as either a volunteer or an employee is considered a program adult. Program adult meals cannot be claimed for reimbursement but may be served for free and can count as an operating cost. Non-program adults who do not work in any direct way with the meal service must be charged the adult meal price or the sponsor must use other non-program funds to cover the full cost of the meal.

              USDA released a nationwide waiver to allow parents to pick up meals for their students on March 25, 2020. Sponsors must have processes in place to ensure that 1) meals are only distributed to parents or guardians of eligible children; and 2) duplicate meals are not distributed to any child. Please complete and submit the Attestation for Support Parent or Guardian Meal Pickup form and work with your program specialist if you have questions.

              Parental consent is a written notice (electronic, email, text, Google order form, etc.) that is retained on file to confirm that a household is interested in getting meals delivered directly to their residence. 
              Written parental consent is required for home deliveries to ensure the confidentiality of all household data including a student’s eligibility status. It is still required even if delivering to students that attend a CEP school. Sponsors who want to provide home deliveries must request and submit the Unanticipated Closures – Meal Distribution Plan Addendum to their program specialist.

              If storage presents an issue, sponsors are permitted to provide components in a bulk “grocery style” to reduce operational challenges. This may require additional math to calculate how much of a component is needed for a household. For example, for the milk component, if a household had 3 students picking up both breakfast and lunch meals for 5 days, you would calculate the number of half pints of milk needed (3 students x 2 meals x 5 days = 30 cups. A gallon of milk is equal to 16 pints, so 2 gallons would be enough to cover the 30 cups, plus two extra servings.

              Sponsors must document how these bulk meals meet meal pattern requirement.

              In addition, the Sponsor must provide a menu for each of the meals and instruction on preparation, food safety, and serving sizes for each food. If you choose to utilize this option, please inform your suppliers in advance so that they can accommodate.

              If the neighborhood school is participating in SSO/SFSP, then meals are available to all children in the community that are 18 years old or younger.

              Family Style meal service is not a USDA requirement and OSPI does not require sponsors to use this type of meal service. Family style meal service may be required by the Department of Child, Youth and Families as part of your early learning program. Please check with DCYF on these requirements.   

              For questions regarding the SSO, contact your NSLP Specialist. For questions regarding the SFSP, email the Summer Meals inbox, a program specialist will respond as soon as possible. 


              USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

              This institution is an equal opportunity provider.