Plan for 21-22 Now!

Date: May 17, 2021 Posted by Mail Twitter Facebook

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SY20/21 was crazy. Changing USDA waivers, social distancing guidelines, safety protocols, distance and hybrid learning and eating. We know you’re exhausted and looking forward to summer break.

Before summer comes, do yourself a favor and choose your SY21/22 menu rotation from our 45 weeks of menus for the National School Lunch Program and the Seamless Summer Option. In a matter of minutes, you can know what you’re serving for the entire school year. In addition to NSLP/SSO menus, we offer menus for the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).

Currently for the 21/22 school year, the USDA is directing schools to follow SSO guidelines rather than the SFSP guidelines most districts followed this year. The SSO meal pattern is the same as NSLP. USDA waivers allow schools to feed all students for free and be reimbursed at the higher SFSP rates.

DON’T FORGET! SY21/22 applications are due by July 1. If you officially changed the program under which you served meals in 20/21, make sure your application is correct for the 21/22 application. Most districts will be serving under NSLP/SSO next year. If you program is not classified correctly, you will not be reimbursed correctly.

ALSO! You may have missed this bit of news relative to the NSLP/SSO meal pattern: Permanent flexibilities for sodium, whole grains and milk that were in play since 2018, were thrown out in court in April 2020. That means the meal pattern again requires all grains be whole-grain-rich, a variety of milks must be offered but only unflavored low-fat milk may be served, and sodium levels must meet Target 2 limits. If you anticipate not being able to meet these requirements in 21/22, you may seek an exception from your state agency under a USDA waiver.

This Q&A from the School Nutrition Association explains the implications of the court ruling in more detail. This policy memo from USDA outlines the details of the waiver.

As guidance for the 21/22 school year crystalizes, we’ll share updates on our Fresh Bites blog and on social media.

With an arsenal of menus and productivity tools from NutriStudents K-12, you’re ready for whatever 21/22 brings. Choose your menu rotation today and you’ll have more time for the unknowns that may come in August.

Category: School Food