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Latest Updates Regarding COVID-19 & Federal Nutrition Assistance Programs

Nationwide Waivers Extended for Non-Congregate Meal Distribution 

The federal Department of Agriculture (USDA) has extended several nationwide waivers to allow continued non-congregate meal distribution through the summer meal programs and the Child and Adult Care Food Program. The following permissions are extended through August 31, 2020:

  • Non-Congregate Feeding, allowing meals to be served to children outside of the normally-required group setting to align with social distancing (i.e., “grab and go” meal distribution or delivery).
  • Parent Pickup, allowing distribution of meals to parents or guardians to take home to their children.
  • Meal Times, waiving requirements that meals be served within certain time frames; this flexibility allows for multiple days’ worth of meals to be provided at once.

New Deadline to Apply for the Community Eligibility Provision

The deadline for schools to adopt the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) in the 2020–2021 school year has been extended to August 31st. The New York State Education Department is now accepting applications from schools and has posted this memo explaining the application submission process.

USDA has issued a nationwide waiver extending CEP deadlines due to the COVID-19 public health crisis. The two key changes for schools newly adopting or recertifying for CEP for the 2020–2021 school year include:

  • Applications must be submitted by August 31, 2020 (previously, the deadline was June 30th).
  • Eligibility for CEP can be based on enrollment from any time between April 1st–June 30, 2020 and 2019–2020 direct certification data (typically only April 1st enrollment is used).

A full description of these deadline extensions can be found in the School Meals section of Hunger Solutions’ COVID-19 webpage.