This fall, schools will return to operating the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has stated that the Summer Food Service Program is not an option when schools provide educational instruction via in-person or remote learning.
The NSLP and SBP regulations will need to be followed and meals will need to be claimed based on the student’s eligibility status, free, reduced or paid, unless participating in a provisional program, such as the Community Eligibility Provision.
The USDA extended a series of waivers that apply only to the NSLP and SBP, not the SFSP. The waivers allow the following flexibilities:
Non-congregate Feeding: Allows for off-site consumption of meals and serving models like grab-n-go, curbside pick-up, mobile/bus routes and home delivery.
Meal Service Time Flexibility in the NSLP & SBP: Allows for serving multiple meals at once and/or serving meals for multiple days at the same time.
Parents and Guardians to Pick Up Meals for Children: Allows parents/guardians to pick-up meals and bring them home to their children.
Meal Pattern Flexibility: Allows sponsors to claim for reimbursement even if a meal does not meet all meal pattern requirements or include all meal components. Sponsors must contact CDE School Nutrition for approval to use this waiver for the 2020-21 school year. Approvals are based on disruptions to the availability of food products.
Offer Versus Serve Flexibility for Senior High Schools in the NSLP for School Year 2020-21: Eliminates the requirement for senior high schools participating in the NSLP to implement offer versus serve.
View the P-EBT Community Partner Webinar recorded in both English and Spanish for additional details about P-EBT and to view the draft P-EBT application. The final P-EBT application is expected to be available by mid-July.
CDE P-EBT webpage for communication templates in English and Spanish.
Summer Meals Program Resources
Use the new Summer Food Service Program Toolkit
Operating the Summer Food Service Program during a pandemic has brought new challenges. The Summer Food Service Toolkit (PDF) was created to help SFSP sponsors navigate current waivers and operations and includes current regulations and flexibilities, safety recommendations during COVID-19, administrative operations, eligibility, menu planning and production, and additional resources.
Free and reduced-price school meals public release
The free and reduced-price school meals public release was published on behalf of all sponsors operating the National School Lunch Program on July 1. The public release provides families with updated qualifying income guidelines, information on eligible school sites and guidance on how to complete a free and reduced-price meal application. Sponsors interested in providing families with specific district information can find editable public release templates in both English (DOC) and Spanish (DOC) on the School Meal Eligibility webpage.
The last day to use Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program funds for schools awarded the 2019-20 school year grant was June 30. Any fresh fruit or vegetable snacks provided to children after June 30 cannot be charged to the school year 2019-20 FFVP grant.
Register for the School Nutrition Back-to-School webinar
Register for the School Nutrition Back-to-School webinar at 2 p.m. on Thursday, July 23. School Food Authorities will learn about the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program rules and regulations, including the recently released USDA flexibilities due to COVID-19. Submit any questions in advance of the webinar using this form. Participants will receive professional standards training credit for attending the webinar. If you do not receive a confirmation email after registering, please work with your IT department to add email@example.com to your safe sender's list.
Register for the August Free and Reduced-Priced Meals virtual training
CDE’s School Nutrition team is hosting two virtual training sessions specific to school meal eligibility that will model the typical in-person training usually held over the summer:
The Free and Reduced 101 Virtual Training will be held from 1 - 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 5. This course is designed for new staff, staff with minimal experience or anyone wanting to learn the basics of the free and reduced-price school meal program. Learn more about this training and register.
The Free and Reduced 201 Virtual Training will be held from 1 - 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 12. This course is designed for more experienced staff wanting to critically think through the intricate areas of the free and reduced-price school meal program. Learn more about this training and register.
Participants will receive professional standards training credit for attending this training. If you do not receive a confirmation email after registering, please work with your IT department to add firstname.lastname@example.org to your safe sender's list.
Double Up Food Bucks is a healthy food incentive program that doubles the buying power of SNAP benefits, helping low-income families bring home more fruits and vegetables while boosting business for American farmers and energizing local economies. When customers use their SNAP benefits at a participating farmers market, they receive an equal amount of Double Up cash that can be used to purchase locally grown fruits and vegetables - up to $20 per visit. Visit the DoubleUp Colorado website for additional information.