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Child Nutrition Programs

Common Questions about Returning to Normal Operations

Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Seamless Summer Option (SSO)

Nationwide waivers provided flexibilities to help millions of children receive nutritious summer meals during the COVID-19 pandemic. As these waivers end, the service of summer meals may look different for children and their families. Here are some examples of common questions you may receive from parents or guardians about changes in how their children receive meals this summer.

Why do kids have to eat their meals at the site?
  • To keep children and staff safe during the first two years of COVID-19, children did not have to eat at the site. 
  • This summer, the program is returning to the normal rules that were in place before COVID-19. The rules require children to sit and eat meals together at the site.
Can kids take meals home? 
  • To keep children and staff safe during the first two years of COVID-19, children did not have to eat at the site. Sites could give meals to parents to take home to them. 
  • This summer, the program is returning to the normal rules that were in place before COVID-19. The rules require children to sit and eat meals together at the site. 
  • Children may take a fruit, vegetable, or grain product away from the site to eat. They must eat all other food at the site.
Can you deliver meals? 
  • To keep children and staff safe during the first two years of COVID-19, children did not have to eat at the site. Sites could deliver meals to them at home.
  • This summer, the program is returning to the normal rules that were in place before COVID-19. The rules require children to sit and eat meals together at the site.
Why are different types of meals are served at different times during the day?
  • To keep children and staff safe during the first two years of COVID-19, children did not have to eat at the site, and sites could serve more than one meal at the same time.
  • This summer, the program is returning to the normal rules that were in place before COVID-19. The rules require that meals are served at scheduled mealtimes.
  • The rules also require children to sit and eat meals together at the site. 
Why are some sites that were open last summer not open this year?
  • During the first two years of COVID-19, children could receive free meals at any location that the state approved. Because of special COVID-related rules, those sites could be located anywhere. 
  • This summer, the program is returning to the normal rules that were in place before COVID-19. The rules require sites to serve areas where many children are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals.
  • Therefore, some of the sites that were open are not eligible to serve meals this summer.
Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

Nationwide waivers provided flexibilities to help millions of children, young people, and older adults receive nutritious meals during the COVID-19 pandemic. As these waivers end, the service of CACFP meals may look different to families who have relied on the nutritious food CACFP provides for children and adults in day care. Here is information to help answer questions about changes in meals served in day care homes, child care centers, afterschool centers, and adult day care centers.

Why do meals have to be eaten at the day care?
  • To keep everyone safe during the first two years of COVID-19, children and adult participants did not have to eat at the day care. Young people did not have to eat at the afterschool center.
  • On July 1, the program is returning to the normal rules that were in place before COVID-19. The rules require children and adult participants to eat meals together while in day care or at afterschool centers. 
Can meals be taken home?
  • To keep everyone safe during the first two years of COVID-19, children and adult participants did not have to eat at the day care or afterschool center. They could receive meals to take home.
  • On July 1, the program is returning to the normal rules that were in place before COVID-19. The rules require everyone to sit and eat meals together while at the day care home or center.
Can you deliver meals?
  • To keep everyone safe during the first two years of COVID-19, children and adult participants did not have to eat at the day care or afterschool center. They could receive meals delivered to them at home.
  • On July 1, the program is returning to the normal rules that were in place before COVID-19. The rules require everyone to sit and eat meals together while at the day care home or center.
Why are different types of meals served at different times during the day?
  • To keep everyone safe during the first two years of COVID-19, children and adult participants did not have to eat at the day care or afterschool center. They could receive more than one meal at the same time.
  • On July 1, the program is returning to the normal rules that were in place before COVID-19. The rules require everyone to sit and eat meals together while at the day care home or center. The rules require meals to be served at scheduled mealtimes.
Why do parents of children in day care homes have to fill out meal benefit forms?
  • Day care homes receive support from CACFP to serve meals to children.
  • Last year, all day care homes received the same amount of support from CACFP. Parents did not have to fill out meal benefit forms.
  • On July 1, the program is returning to the normal rules that were in place before COVID-19. The rules require parents to fill out meal benefit forms. The amount of support the day care home receives is based on the meal benefit form.

 

05/11/2022