Health and Nutrition Services is committed to providing timely and accurate information through our COVID-19 Communications to ensure all Child Nutrition Program Operators are able to stay informed with all COVID-19 guidance released by USDA and ADE.
ADE is accepting applications from School Food Authorities and experienced Community Organizations for the Summer Food Service Program now through June 30, 2021. All sites must be located at non-profit organizations. For-profit enrolled sites (including for-profit child care centers) are not eligible for SFSP and are encouraged to apply for CACFP for Child Nutrition Program support.
USDA has released several waivers that apply to different Child Nutrition Programs. Program Operators have the ability to opt in to the following waivers below for the Child Nutrition Program being operated. Elections and approvals under the initial SFSP/SSO waivers for Parent Pickup, Distribution Plan for Multiple Days and Area Eligibility Waiver (starting in March) are valid under this SFSP/SSO extension (September-June); no further action is needed. If a Program operator has been approved for the Parent Pickup and Distribution Plan for Multiple Days waivers under NSLP for SY 2020-2021, these elections and approvals do not apply for SFSP/SSO. The Meal Pattern Waiver must be submitted and approved on a case-by-case basis.
Child Nutrition Programs will be reviewed by the Arizona Department of Education during Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 and Program Year (PY) 2021.
Administrative Reviews: All School Food Authorities (SFAs) that were scheduled for an Administrative Review (AR) during this program year and are continuing to operate under the National School Lunch Program will receive an AR during this program year.
Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) Simplified or Summer Seamless Option (SSO) Reviews: Operators of the SFSP or the SSO will receive a SFSP or SSO review starting in January if any one of the following apply:
An SFA was scheduled for an NSLP Administrative Review in PY21.
An SFA or Community Organization is due for a SFSP review in accordance with the SFSP review schedule.
An SFA was new to operating the summer program and elected to operate the SFSP in FY21 or late FY20 and has not received a SFSP review.
Procurement Reviews will continue as usual and will be conducted via desk reviews.
Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Reviews: Centers, Head Starts, emergency shelters, and family day care home sponsors operating the CACFP will continue to receive reviews starting December 2020. The CACFP review schedule will not be posted. Operators may contact their assigned program specialist to learn if they are due for a review.
The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) Health and Nutrition Services is offering a variety of virtual trainings to Child Nutrition Program operators from January through May to provide valuable information on operating the programs and supporting your review during COVID-19. All live webinars will be recorded and posted in the brochure below. All past COVID-19 webinars that occurred June-December 2020 are available in the brochure.
United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Services, is providing additional funds through two temporary reimbursement programs, School Programs Emergency Operational Costs Reimbursement Program and Child and Adult Care Food Program Emergency Operational Costs Reimbursement Program. These programs will provide eligible operators additional reimbursements for emergency operating costs they incurred during the months of March-June 2020.
Arizona Department of Education (ADE) anticipates that the funds will be disbursed by July 31, 2021. Additional information will be released regarding eligibility for these programs and how ADE will issue payment to each program operator in the coming months.
USDA has released guidance that SFAs who collected applications at any time during SY 20-21 are required to conduct verification activities. Although schools may have transitioned to SFSP/SSO operations, verification is required because school meal applications are used to establish eligibility for P-EBT.
ADE Health and Nutrition Services, in partnership with the Arizona School Nutrition Programs Advisory Council (SNPAC), has developed a Mobile Meals Toolkit to assist operators with transitioning to a mobile meal service model. Adapted from No Kid Hungry’s SFSP Mobile Meals Toolkit, this toolkit provides a set of questions to determine community need and organizational capacity to implement such a model, a planning and implementation checklist, and success stories from Arizona school nutrition programs who have successfully implemented a mobile model.
SY 2020-2021 COVID-19 waivers have created a unique opportunity for all SFAs to operate At-Risk Afterschool Meals. Each SFA, regardless of eligibility, has the chance to participate in At-Risk Afterschool Meals this year which will not only provide much needed additional meals to children in need in your communities, but has the potential to greatly impact your program revenue. The application process is simple and the benefits are great. Waivers end June 30, 2020 so take advantage of the opportunity for the rest of SY 2020-2021.