ATTENTION: Co-op Directors; Principals; Superintendents; Child Nutrition
Directors; Business Managers
The purpose of this memo is to provide guidance on the Child
Nutrition Program nationwide waivers and flexibilities to support a successful
school year in 2021-2022.
School nutrition professionals across the
nation have engaged in a heroic effort to connect children with nutritious
meals throughout the coronavirus (COVID–19) pandemic. On the frontlines since March 2020, school nutrition
professionals have worked hard to adapt their meal service to meet the needs of
children in their communities. To support their efforts, the Food and Nutrition
Service (FNS) established nationwide waivers to streamline access, enhance
program flexibility, and reduce administrative burden.
As we look
ahead to next school year, we know that even as the nation recovers, school
nutrition professionals will continue to face challenges in their work. State
and local officials are working hard to plan for the new school year, and FNS
recognizes that providing flexibility will support their extraordinary efforts.
Arkansas Child Nutrition Unit (CNU) has opted-in
to the following waivers and flexibilities to increase funding, support access,
and balance operational needs with the goal of providing nutritious meals for
school year 2021-2022. School Food
Authorities (SFAs) have the option to opt-in to these waivers with a submitted
Schedule D. The Schedule D is an addendum
to the 2021-2022 Agreement between CNU and the SFA.
It is important to ensure all students in
Arkansas receive high-quality, nutritious meals that help them succeed in the
classroom. For school year 2021-2022, schools will continue the school meal
pattern, which emphasizes healthy eating with a focus on fruits
and vegetables, whole grains, and sensible calorie levels. We expect that the flexibilities provided
for this school year will only be utilized as needed, and that schools will
seek to meet the nutrition standards to the greatest extent possible.
The Schedule D Addendum will be
required by each SFA. Please email to ADE.CNU-A-PS@ade.arkansas.gov
by July 9, 2021. Enclosed with the
Schedule D is summary of the waivers to support the SFA in making decisions for
the upcoming school year.
Arkansas CNU understands that many questions
may come up while making plans for school year 2021-2022. USDA guidance will be shared as soon as it is
received. In the absence of guidance, a Questions and Answer document
has been developed and will be edited as needed.
Please contact the district Area Specialist
for more information.