Special Bulletin for March 12, 2020

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Special Nutrition Bulletin: Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

We have received numerous child nutrition program questions on how to plan for COVID-19. Right now, there have been no changes to administering any of the child nutrition programs (National School Lunch, Child and Adult Care and Summer Food Service/Seamless Summer Programs).

In order to be prepared for all possible scenarios, the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) is proactively fast-tracking a waiver to provide school nutrition authorities (SFAs) flexibilities in meal service.

The second part of the process will be for SFAs to apply to our office for the COVID-19 flexibility. We will distribute this information once the application process is finalized.

Attached is a link to the most recent USDA memo and Questions and Answers (Q&A) document that provides background information on this process. When MDE staff reviewed this memo and Q&A, it did generate a number of questions which we have forwarded to USDA for clarification. You may have similar questions and we hope to provide as much clarification as possible when we post the waiver process for SFAs. We ask for your patience as we prepare the guidance.

We will send out regular updates as the waiver and SFA flexibility process is approved.

To assist school sponsors in addressing some of the current issues related to feeding students now as well as if there is a school closure, we will be offering a webinar on March 17 at 2 p.m. This webinar will replace our originally scheduled “Tuesday @ 2” session. The Fresh Fruits and Vegetable Program session will be rescheduled for a later date. 

School Nutrition Programs – COVID-19 webinar registration.

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