Transitional Waivers for Summer 2022 and School Year 2022-2023
The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) Health and Nutrition Services (HNS) has received approval from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for 23 requested statewide waivers. These waivers are intended to provide operators flexibilities needed to continue serving children through this summer and school year 2022-2023. USDA expects that these flexibilities will only be used for the duration and extent needed, and in instances when the COVID-19 pandemic limits congregate meal service (Waivers #1-6, 12-24) and/or imposes administrative challenges such as limiting staffing resources to ensure the safe service of meals to children (Waivers #7-11, 25-26). Program operators may implement the waivers, including Waiver #1 and #2 affecting summer meal service, without further application to HNS.
Keep Kids Fed Act of 2022
The Keep Kids Fed Act of 2022 (S. 2089) was signed on June 25, 2022 to support schools and community organizations with more of the tools and financial resources they need to continue feeding children through this summer and the 2022-2023 school year. Implementation of these provisions are still awaiting guidance from USDA, which will be communicated to operators by HNS as soon as it becomes available.
Specifically, the Act makes the following changes:
- Extends USDA's authority to issue nationwide waivers that may increase Federal costs for summer meal programs through September 2022.
- Provides temporary additional reimbursements for school year 2022-2023 (SY 22-23) of:
- 40 cents per lunch served through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP);
- 15 cents per breakfast served through the School Breakfast Program (SBP); and
- 10 cents per meal or snack served in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), which includes the At-Risk Afterschool Program.
- Provides all CACFP family day care homes with the higher "Tier I" reimbursement rate for SY 22-23.
- Allows USDA to issue limited nationwide waivers that do not increase Federal costs during SY 22-23.
USDA is currently working to implement the law and get information about these waivers to State Agencies and Program Operators as quickly as possible. At this time, HNS continues to engage with our regional office at the USDA Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) to gather details on when guidance is anticipated to be released and clarification on how the newly approved statewide waivers will be impacted by the signing of the Keep Kids Fed Act of 2022.