Community & Partnerships

Managing Your School Meal Program in a COVID Environment

Community & Partnerships

Are you having trouble keeping up with the ever-changing guidance from USDA and CDC? Trying to navigate staffing and operations while staying within budget? Not sure which learning model your superintendent will adopt? Our nutrition experts invite you to join our webinar on Wednesday, July 15th at 2 pm ET/11 am PT as we address your questions and discuss best practices for managing your school meal program under COVID. Click here to register.

At Revolution Foods, we make it easy to navigate relaunching your school’s meal program as our flexible meal platforms are designed for all unique reopening scenarios including individual (unitized) meals, multi-day meal boxes and family-style (bulk) meals.

Before our webinar, we encourage you to check out our FAQ below to address a few initial questions you might have about meal compliance:

When does summer meal service end? 
Summer feeding (SFSP/SSO) cannot operate simultaneously with school year feeding (NSLP/SBP/CACFP). The USDA waivers related to summer meals expire on August 31 so summer meals cannot be served after this date. The new USDA waivers related to 2020-21 school year for NSLP, SBP and CACFP must be implemented as soon as a school district officially re-opens for the year (whether before or after August 31). 

Do the new USDA waivers allow meals to be sent home for the weekend? 

No. The USDA waivers for the 2020-21 school year apply to NSLP, SBP and CACFP during regularly scheduled school. This means that meals can only be provided when school is in session, which for most schools means Monday-Friday, not weekends.   

Can breakfast and lunch meals be sent home if schools are doing distance learning? Can parents or guardians pick the meals up?

Yes. Breakfast and lunch can be sent home with students or picked up by parents/guardians thanks to the USDA waivers. During the school year, meals must be counted and claimed based on free, reduced-price or paid status of the student. It is important to note that meals must be offered to distance learners. 

Can afterschool snack and supper meals be sent home? 
No. Although the USDA provided waivers for non-congregate feeding and mealtime flexibility, the NSLP Snack and CACFP At-Risk After School Snack and Supper programs require an on-site enrichment activity component which has not been waived. 


Are schools required to serve all meal components like in summer feeding?
Offer Versus Serve (OVS) can be implemented for the SBP (breakfast) NSLP (lunch) meals. OVS may not be possible when meals are pre-plated to be distributed in the classroom or taken home. In these cases, OVS does not need to be used, and all meal components can be served. USDA has waived the requirement that students in grades 9-12 must be on OVS. OVS is not required for students in grades K-8 so was not included in the latest waivers.  


Sign up for the webinar!
We look forward to sharing some of the best practices we’ve learned while serving 2.5 million school and community meals nationwide each week during the pandemic.  Click here to register. 

For meal program support in the new school year, contact us today. Our team will reach out to learn more about your meal program needs and work with you to make reopening a success.