Health and Nutrition Services (HNS) is committed to providing timely and accurate information through our HNS Communications to ensure all Child Nutrition Program operators get informed with all COVID-19 guidance released by USDA and ADE.
ADE hosted a webinar to announce the waivers ADE opted into for School Year 2021-2022, explain what the waivers mean, and review each one to ensure SFAs are in compliance while operating under these flexibilities.
The School Nutrition Programs Advisory Council hosted a webinar where a panel of council members discussed their plans for SY 21-22 operations. Topics included school learning models, meal service types, menu planning, and staff training and logistics.
School Food Service Operations Beyond School Year 2020-2021 (Recording) (Slides)
ADE has released program forms specific to SY 2021-2022. Program Forms for SY 2021-2022 have been updated to indicate that breakfast and lunch are free for all students this year. Please reference Memorandum HNS # 17-2021 for more information.
ADE has streamlined the waiver opt-in process by removing the external electronic opt-in form (SurveyMonkey) for each waiver, and has created new opt-in fields in CNPWeb for waivers that USDA requires an LEA notification to the state agency. New for SY 21-22, all SFAs will be required to report the use of each waiver (#85-#90, #92-94, #96, #98) and a description of whether and how this waiver resulted in improved services to Program participants. ADE will release a separate memorandum to describe the information operators will need when completing the reporting requirements.
For SY 21-22, SFAs will need to:
Indicate election of four waivers in Section 5 of the NSLP Sponsor Application: SSO (#85), Parent Pickup (#89), Specific Meal Pattern Flexibility (#90), and Local Wellness Policy Triennial Assessment (#98).
The remaining waivers (#86-#88, #92-#95, #96) apply to all SFAs without notifying the State agency.
Note: SFAs will not be required to submit a distribution plan to ADE to distribute multiple days’ worth of meals.
ADE has requested approval from USDA to opt-in to the following statewide waivers:
USDA has released several waivers that apply to different Child Nutrition Programs. Program operators have the ability to opt into 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 2020) are valid under this SFSP/SSO extension (through September 30, 2021); 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. The SFSP Meal Pattern Waiver expires June 30, 2021.
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.
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.
The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) is excited to announce a new partnership with the Chef Ann Foundation, Life Time Foundation, and Whole Kids Foundation! These organizations are part of the newly formed ScratchWorks Collective and are dedicated to improving the quality of school meals and love sharing their expertise with school nutrition professionals. These partners look forward to supporting 10 Arizona Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) in a three-phase program to help operators regain their kitchens and menus as they recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Chef Ann Foundation will kick-off this collaborative work by sending a culinary trained school food operational expert to each of the selected LEAs for a one-day on-site consultation to create a two-year plan with built-in mentoring designed to transform your kitchens, develop your staff, and take control of your finances to support the menu of your dreams.
The Farm to Summer Challenge is an initiative of the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) Health and Nutrition Services (HNS) Division to encourage Farm to School activities during Summer Food Service Program/Summer Seamless Option by creating excitement around serving fresh and locally sourced ingredients.