To help schools in the event of closing, NutriStudents K-12 is making publicly available – free to all – a COVID-19 Emergency Menu. It includes 3 weeks (5 days each) of fully compliant menu options. The 2 weeks of hot and 1 week of cold meals will accommodate both cafeteria-served meals or grab-and-go. Because the nutritional guidelines during this time of emergency are based on individual days versus full weeks, you can pick and choose any of the 15 meals you prefer, in any order. This is free to any child nutrition program in the entire country. Please download these menu days and share the link – MenuFreedom.com/COVID-19 with other school nutrition professionals you know.
This menu conforms to the flexibilities USDA has made to ensure low-income scholars continue receiving meals should schools close. For any COVID-19 related closing through June 30, 2020, districts in low-income areas can offer food under the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) guidelines. In states where DOEs have applied for and received a waiver, schools that have in turn applied for a waiver from their DOE do not need to serve meals in a group setting. As of March 12, those states include: Washington, California, Maryland, Alaska, Utah, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Maine and Kansas. Congress is working to pass a bill that would lift the need for states and schools to apply for waivers. Read the USDA Policy Memo and FAQs on school meals and COVID-19.
If there are other program guidelines that are not feasible for your district, you may apply for, and assume approval of, a waiver of statutory or regulatory program requirements for the child nutrition programs (CNPs) here.