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July 2, 2020
Summer Meals Program and Emergency Feeding
National School Lunch Program

Summer Meals Program Spotlight

School Nutrition during COVID-19

When schools closed last March due to COVID-19:

  • Sponsors continued offering meals through the Summer Food Service Program, also referred to as emergency feeding. 
  • Sponsors were able to provide free meals to all youth 0-18 and there were several U.S. Department of Agriculture waivers that provided flexibilities for SFSP requirements. 

This fall, when school is back in session:

  • SFSP operations will end once school begins, whether that’s in-person or remote learning, and sponsors will return to operating the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. 
  • Program requirements for NSLP and SBP remain in place, including:
    • All reimbursable meals must meet the NSLP and SBP meal patterns. 
    • Meals must be claimed by the student’s eligibility status (free, reduced or paid), unless participating in a provisional program, such as the Community Eligibility Provision. Sponsors may also use money from the general fund to cover the cost of paid student meals if they wish to provide free meals for all students.
  • The USDA has extended flexibilities through a series of waivers for the NSLP and SBP to help sponsors continue to provide meals while minimizing exposure to COVID-19. 

Back-to-school planning tools and resources will also be available on the School Nutrition homepage.

Summer Meals Program Updates

SFSP Claim update

All sponsors operating the Summer Food Service Program, including those continuing to offer meals through “emergency feeding” efforts through June, will enter claims for reimbursement in the Colorado Nutrition Portal under the SFSP red tile. The Portal is being updated to allow for consolidated sponsor-level claiming. The School Nutrition Unit anticipates this update to be in effect soon and will provide an update once the Portal is open for claiming. 

As a reminder, SFSP claims will be entered as follows:

  • March-May: enter claims in the Smartsheet form
  • June-August, while SFSP is operating: enter claims in the Portal under SFSP

For questions, contact free&

Register for the SFSP review webinar

Register for the SFSP review webinar at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, July 8. Sponsors will learn about the offsite review process and help sponsors plan for their upcoming SFSP review. 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 to your safe sender's list. 

For questions, contact

Pandemic-Electronic Benefit Transfer webinar and resources

Program Updates

Back-to-School webinar

The School Nutrition Unit is hosting a webinar from 2 - 3  p.m. on Thursday, July 23, about the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program rules and regulations, including the recently released USDA flexibilities due to COVID-19. More details, including registration information, will be available soon. Information on back-to-school planning can be found on the NSLP homepage

For questions, contact Kerri Link at or 720-660-5499.

Update on Administrative Reviews

The School Nutrition Unit will not conduct school meal administrative or procurement reviews during the 2020-21 school year. Sponsors originally scheduled for a review in 2020-21 school year will be rescheduled over the next three years to fit into the approved five-year cycle. A new review schedule is forthcoming. For questions, contact Kerri Link at or 720-660-5499. 

All sponsors that did not have a school meal administrative review in the 2019-20 school year due to COVID-19 and did not operate SFSP in the previous year, are required to undergo a SFSP review. The SFSP review schedule and resources can be found on CDE SFSP website

For questions, contact Ashley Moen at or 303-868-7192.

Program Outreach and Partner Updates

Alternative Meal Service Training

Program sponsors are invited to complete a training by Dairy Max that showcases alternative meal service options, equipment needs and resources for the upcoming school year.

For questions, contact Kerri Link at or 720-660-5499. 

Tune into FRAC July webinars

The Food Research & Action Center invites child nutrition professionals and community sponsors to join its upcoming webinars to ensure access to nutritious meals. 

For questions, contact Etienne Melcher Philbin at

Copyright © 2020 Colorado Department of Education, All rights reserved.

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