Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education United States Department of Agriculture extends meal service at no cost to students through June 30, 2021

Memo Information

Memo Number
CNU-21-008
Memo Date
10/14/2020
Memo Type
Regulatory
Unit
Child Nutrition
Regulatory Authority
Families First Corona Virus Response Act, The Continuing Appropriations Act of 2021, and Other Extensions
Response Required
YES
Attention
Superintendents; General Business Managers; Bookkeepers; Child Nutrition Directors/Managers

Primary Contact Information

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Memo Text

ATTENTION:  SUPERINTENDENTS, CHILD NUTRITION DIRECTORS, DISTRICT FINANCIAL OFFICERS

The purpose of this memo is to provide guidance to Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and School Food Authorities (SFAs) regarding the extension of meal services under the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year, which is through June 30, 2021. This will allow students to receive meals at no cost to them.  Districts will also continue to claim all meals at the free rate.  This memorandum will supersede Commissioner’s Memo CNU 21-006 issued August 31, 2020, which allowed the extension through December 31, 2020. 

On October 9, 2020, the United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (USDA, FNS) through the Families First Corona Virus Response Act  (the Act)(P.L. 116-127), The Continuing Appropriations Act of 2021, and other Extensions (P.L. 116-159) announced the continuation of the following listed waivers pertaining to the National School Lunch, School Breakfast, and Afterschool Snack Programs. 

  • COVID-19 Response #59 – Nationwide waiver to allow SFSP and SSO operations through SY 2020-21 – extension
  • COVID-19 Response #60 – Nationwide waiver to extend area eligibility waivers – extension #3
  • COVID-19 Response #61 – Nationwide waiver to allow non-congregate feeding in SFSP/SSO – extension #5
  • COVID-19 Response #62 – Nationwide waiver to allow parents and guardian to pick up meals for children – extension #5
  • COVID-19 Response #63 – Nationwide waiver to allow meal pattern flexibility in SFSP/SSO – extension #8
  • COVID-19 Response #64 – Nationwide waiver to allow area eligibility for closed enrolled sites in SFSP/SSO – extension #2
  • COVID 19 Response #66 – Nationwide waiver of meal service time restrictions in SFSP/SSO – extension #2
  • COVID 19 Response #70 – Nationwide waiver to allow meal pattern flexibility in the Child Nutrition Programs – extension #5

Once again, districts must opt in to this waiver in order to continue to serve all children at no charge and claim the meals at the free rate.  An email from Suzanne Davidson, Child Nutrition Director, with instructions for submission will be sent to all Superintendents and Child Nutrition Directors.  Prompt attention is required.

With the extension of meal service at no charge for the remainder of the school year, district officials need to determine how best to refund families any monies remaining in student food service accounts for reduced and paid meals.   If program operators sell a la carte items in their programs, account balances may be used to cover these costs.   However, refunds must be provided to families who prefer them. 

If you have questions, email your Area Specialist or contact them at 501-324-9502. 

 

 

 

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