Updated March 26, 2020
Effective immediately through June 30, 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved a request from CDE to allow program operators, in good standing, to serve meals through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Seamless Summer Option (SSO) during unanticipated school closures as a result of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
- School Meal Locations: Second Harvest Silicon Valley manages a Google Document that lists school food locations in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. Please check the document regularly for updates.
- Emergency Food Information: If anyone is in need of food, they should call the Second Harvest Food Bank's Food Connection Hotline (in any language) at 800-984-3663 to get connected to a nearby distribution.
- Farmers Markets: Several farmer's markets remain open and most accept EBT. The Pacific Coast Farmers' Markets maintains a list of open markets throughout the Bay Area, including a list of San Mateo locations.
Nutrition Waiver Requirements and Distribution Methods
On March 26, 2020, the USDA's Secretary of Agriculture signed waivers relaxing certain aspects of the law and regulation regarding meal pick-up and eligibility.
- Nationwide Parent/Guardian Meal Pickup Waiver: The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is allowing states approved for non-congregate feeding to waive the rule preventing parents and guardians from picking up meals for their children, as long as they protect accountability and integrity. (Guidance for States on the Meal Pickup Waiver)
- Nationwide Meal Pattern Waiver: FNS has provided nationwide approval for states to locally waive specific meal pattern requirements as needed to support access to nutritious meals when certain foods are not available due to the novel coronavirus. (Guidance for States on the Meal Pattern Waiver)
- Nationwide Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) Data Waiver: FNS is extending Community Eligibility Provision election, notification and reporting and deadlines for School Year 2020-21. (Guidance for States on the CEP Waiver)
- Congregate Meal Waivers: Schools or other community organizations that are approved to operate the SSO or SFSP can serve non-congregate meals during COVID-19 at school sites that are dismissed or closed by submitting a request to SNPINFO@cde.ca.gov. Requirements for this waiver, possible distribution methods, and frequently asked questions can be found on the California Department of Education's website.
- Pandemic EBT: As a result of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020, children who would receive free or reduced price meals if not for school closures are eligible to receive assistance under this provision. USDA is providing guidance to state agencies on plan requirements in order to receive approval. (Guidance for States on Pandemic EBT)
- Nationwide Meal Times Waiver: FNS has provided a nationwide waiver to waive the requirement that Child Nutrition Program meals must follow meal service time requirements and also allow state agencies to adjust the time of meal services, including the suspension of meal times as needed. (Guidance for States on the Meal Times Nationwide Waiver)
- Nationwide Afterschool Activity Waiver: FNS has provided a nationwide waiver to waive the requirement that afterschool meals and snacks must be served in a school or program with an educational or enrichment purposes and that the meals and snacks must be served in a structured and supervised environment with an educational enrichment activity. (Guidance for States on the Afterschool Activity Nationwide Waiver
- Summer Food Service Program Meal Patterns
- Summer Food Service Program and Seamless Summer Option Reimbursement Rate
- California Department of Education's Request for Waiver
- California Department of Education's Disaster Resources
- U.S. Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Guidance on Human Pandemic Response
- California Department of Public Health School Guidance
- More Information
- USDA Newsroom: Provides information on the UDSA COVID-19 non-congregate feeding waiver for schools
- State of California-Heath and Human Services Agency: Provides information on School Guidance on Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19
- Readiness and Emergency Management: Provides information on the dissemination for schools for emergencies
- Food and Nutrition Service Disaster Assistance: Provides information on USDA Disaster Assistance
- CA Meals for Kids App
- The CDE CA Meals for Kids mobile app has been updated to help students and families find meals during COVID-19-related emergency school closures. The information that populates the meals sites data is generated from the CDE's Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS). All school districts are encouraged to enter the information for their sites in the CNIPS site application. The app is available for free download through Apple’s App Store, Google’s Play Store, and Microsoft’s App Store web pages.
- Extended Deadlines
- In response to the COVID-19 outbreak and school closures, the CDE Nutrition Services Division Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) is extending the online application deadline for the 2020–21 FFVP grant to Tuesday, March 31, 2020, at 4 p.m.
Phone: (650) 802-5515