Nutrition

The Agency of Education Child Nutrition Programs administer federal programs, including the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program and Summer Food Service Program, which provide nutritious meals and snacks in schools, childcare settings, summer program sites and adult day centers. The Agency provides program sponsors with guidance, technical assistance, training, monitoring and evaluation to ensure that every program receives the maximum federal and state funding available and operates in compliance with federal and state requirements.

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Join Us for Virtual Summer Institute 2020! 

Class Descriptions and Registration Links for Virtual Summer Institute 

Civil Rights Requirements of the Federal Child Nutrition Programs

School Food Authorities and program sponsors are required to administer child nutrition programs in accordance with all non-discrimination laws, regulations, instructions, policies, and guidance. This includes annual training on civil rights in child nutrition programs. Trainings can be accomplished by reviewing the training PowerPoint or watching the webinar. 

USDA-FNS Policy Memos

Child Nutrition Program Procedures


Public Notices and Waivers

Waiver of the Enrichment or Educational Requirement in the CACFP At-Risk Afterschool Meals Program during School Year 2020-2021

The State agency seeking a waiver of the requirement that eligible schools and at-risk afterschool care centers who serve afterschool meals and snacks must offer meals in a structured and supervised environment, with an educational or enrichment activity during school year 2020-2021. The State agency is seeking to allow eligible or previously approved CACFP sites to operate and serve meals without offering the enrichment or educational component of the program to continue social distancing efforts and align with other flexibilities that have been provided during the COVID-19 pandemic for school year 2020-2021.

Waiver of the Enrichment or Educational Requirement in the Afterschool Snack Service during School Year 2020-2021

The State agency is seeking a waiver of the requirement that eligible schools who serve afterschool snacks must offer these meals in a structured and supervised environment, with an educational or enrichment activity during school year 2020-2021. The State agency is seeking to allow schools eligible to operate the Afterschool Snack Service to serve snacks without offering the enrichment or educational component of the program in order to continue social distancing efforts and align with other flexibilities that have been provided during the COVID-19 pandemic for school year 2020-2021.

Waiver of the Onsite Monitoring Requirements for Sponsoring Organizations in the SFSP and SSO into September 2020

The State agency is seeking to extend the on-site monitoring requirement waiver for SFSP and SSO through September 30, 2020 to allow for continued social distancing. The current nationwide waiver for on-site monitoring in the SFSP extends until August 31, 2020 with the intention that schools will re-open for school year 2020-2021 by September 1, 2020. The Governor of Vermont announced on July 28, 2020 that the start date for schools will be delayed until September 8, 2020.  

Waiver request to Extend the Congregate Feeding Waiver in the SFSP and SSO into September 2020

The State agency is seeking to extend the non-congregate waiver for SFSP and SSO through September 30, 2020 to allow SFSP sponsors to continue providing summer meals in a non-congregate fashion until schools re-open for school year 2020-2021 and school meals are provided. This will allow children to have continued access to meals until the school year begins. The current nationwide waiver for non-congregate feeding in the SFSP extends until August 31, 2020 with the intention that schools will re-open for school year 2020-2021 by September 1, 2020. The Governor of Vermont announced on July 28, 2020 that the start date for schools will be delayed until September 8, 2020.

Waiver to Extend the Waiver of Area Eligibility Requirements in the SFSP and SSO into September 2020

The State agency is seeking to extend the area eligibility waiver for SFSP and SSO through September 30, 2020 to allow SFSP sponsors to continue providing summer meals until schools open for school year 2020-2021. This will allow children to have continued access to meals until the school year begins and school meals are provided. The current nationwide waiver extended Vermont’s previously approved area eligibility state wide waiver until August 31, 2020 with the intention that schools will re-open for school year 2020-2021 by September 1, 2020. The Governor of Vermont announced on July 28, 2020 that the start date for schools will be delayed until September 8, 2020.

Waiver Request to USDA to Extend the Waiver to Allow Parents and Guardians to Pick Up Meals for Children in the SFSP and SSO into September 2020

The State agency is seeking to extend the parent and guardian pick-up waiver for SFSP and SSO through September 30, 2020 to allow SFSP sponsors to continue providing summer meals until schools open for school year 2020-2021. This will allow children to have continued access to meals until school year begins and school meals are provided, and allow programs to maintain social distancing efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The current nationwide waiver for parent and guardian pick-up of meals in SFSP extends until August 31, 2020 with the intention that schools will re-open for school year 2020-2021 by September 1, 2020. The Governor of Vermont announced on July 28, 2020 that the start date for all schools will be delayed until September 8, 2020.

Waiver of 3-year Administrative Review Cycle of Administrative Reviews due to COVID-19

The State agency is requesting a state-wide waiver of the 3-year Administrative Review (AR) requirement for School Nutrition Programs and requesting to extend the current 3-year review cycle by one year, for a total of 4 years for this cycle.  The State agency will use the waiver to take a one-year pause in conducting the administrative reviews for School Year 20-21 to accommodate the unique challenges of COVID-19.  Instead of conducting the prescribed administrative reviews, the State agency will use the pause to dedicate our 2.5 school nutrition staff members to conduct extensive technical assistance calls with every School Food Authority (SFA) participating in School Breakfast Program (SBP) and/or National School Lunch Program (NSLP) during the first two months of the school year, and again in the middle of the school year.  These technical assistance calls will discuss each SFA’s unique meal service challenges under COVID-19, and will focus on certain areas of highest concern, including food safety and counting and claiming.

Waiver related to Requirement to Review One-Half of Previous Year’s Aggregate Reimbursement in SFSP

The State agency is seeking a waiver of SFSP requirement 7 CFR 225.7(d)(2)(ii)(B), that state agencies shall annually review a number of sponsors whose program reimbursements, in the aggregate, accounted for at least one-half of the total program meal reimbursements in the State in the prior year to reduce the administrative burden on the State agency and the sponsors.

Waiver to Allow the State agency to notify the Health Department of operation on behalf of the Sponsors

The State agency is seeking a waiver of SFSP requirement 7 CFR 225.16(a) for sponsors to individually notify the health department of their operation. The State agency proposes to fulfill this requirement on behalf of the sponsors to reduce the administrative burden on the sponsors and the Vermont Department of Health.   - Granted on July 2, 2020 and remains in effect until August 31, 2020.

Waiver related to area-eligibility requirements in the SFSP and SSO

The State agency is seeking a waiver of the area eligibility requirement in SFSP [42 U.S.C. 1761(a)(1)(A)(i)(I)] that defines area eligibility as an area where at least 50% of the children have been determined eligible for free or reduced-price school meals. The State agency is seeking to provide continuity of meal service to children 18 years and under during summer operations that reside in a non-area eligible location.  - Granted on June 10, 2020 and remains in effect until August 31, 2020.

Waiver to allow CACFP sponsors to perform desk audits during COVID-19 to meet monitoring requirements

The State agency is seeking a waiver to allow sponsoring organizations to fulfill their monitoring requirements by performing desk audits through September 30, 2020. This will allow sponsoring organizations to continue monitoring their sites as required by regulation but in a manner to align with social distancing efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and guidance released by the Department of Health and the Department of Children and Families as Programs re-open. The State agency is seeking to waive the requirement that monitoring visits must be performed on-site.

Waiver to allow SFSP sponsors to perform desk audits during COVID-19 to meet monitoring requirements

The State agency is seeking a waiver to allow sponsoring organizations to fulfill their monitoring requirements by performing desk audits during SFSP operations. This will allow sponsoring organizations to continue monitoring their sites as required by regulation but in a manner to align with social distancing efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and guidance released by the Department of Health and the Department of Children and Families as Programs re-open. The State agency is seeking to waive the requirement that monitoring visits must be performed on-site.    –  Granted through Nationwide Waiver on June 8, 2020 and effective until August 31, 2020.

Waiver to allow the State agency to perform desk audits during COVID-19 to meet administrative review requirements

The State agency is seeking a waiver to allow the State agency to fulfill annual administrative review requirements through desk audits during SFSP operations. This will allow the State agency to continue monitoring their sites as required by regulation but in a manner to align with social distancing efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and guidance released by the Department of Health and the Department of Children and Families as Programs re-open. The State agency is seeking to waive the requirement that administrative reviews must be performed on-site.    –  Granted through Nationwide Waiver on June 8, 2020 and effective until August 31, 2020.

Waiver to allow SFAs with FFVP elementary schools that are not operating to serve FFVP foods at alternative locations

The State agency is seeking a waiver to allow SFAs with approved FFVP elementary schools that are not currently operating but have FFVP funds available to be able to serve FFVP foods at alternative locations, such as high schools. This will allow SFAs to be able to continue providing FFVP foods to students and using the funds that have been allocated to approved elementary school within the SFA.

Waiver to allow hotels housing homeless households to be considered residential camps for the purposes of the SFSP during COVID-19

The State agency is seeking to allow SFSP sponsors to add emergency shelters, including hotels serving as emergency shelters, as residential camp sites during the unanticipated school closures due to COVID-19, as opposed to applying as a new Program sponsor under CACFP in order to streamline sponsor and state agency paperwork and ensure homeless students receive meal service in a way that encourages social distancing measures during COVID-19.   Specifically, the state agency is seeking a waiver of the requirement that meals in residential camps be served as part of an “organized program.”   Denied on July 17, 2020

Waiver to allow FFVP produce to be provided for children along with SFSP/SSO meals when children are not present

The state agency is seeking a waiver of the requirement that children be present to receive FFVP produce items when served in a non-congregate setting.  This will align with how other child nutrition programs are operating during COVID-19, and will allow the continued provision of nutritious fruits and vegetables to children while maintaining social distancing efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19.   – Granted on May 5, 2020 and effective until June 30, 2020.

Waiver related to the Unitized Meal requirement in SFSP, SSO and CACFP during the COVID-19 Outbreak

The state agency is seeking a waiver to allow bulk distribution of meals that do not meet the unitized meal requirement.  Bulk distribution of food items (i.e. a loaf of bread and jar of peanut butter, instead of 5 sandwiches.) would allow Program operators to provide households with the necessary food items to meet meal pattern compliance in the required portion sizes, limiting the additional work needed to prepare unitized meals. This would also reduce the amount of time food service staff spend in close contact with one another, to maintain the health and safety of foodservice personnel during unanticipated school and center closures due to COVID-19.     - Deemed unnecessary as a result of the Q&As that were released by USDA on April 11, 2020, indicating the allowance of offering meals in this fashion.

Waiver related to serving meals during previously scheduled Breaks occurring during an Unanticipated School Closure

The Vermont Agency of Education is seeking a waiver of USDA guidance requiring schools to “cancel” their previously scheduled breaks and holidays in order to allow continuous meal service during an unexpected school closure.  There is already significant confusion in the public around the expectations for remote learning during this time period, and requiring the school to “cancel” the break during the closure period for the purposes of the Child Nutrition Programs will only serve to add more confusion.  Requiring schools to specifically “cancel” previously scheduled breaks is an inefficient use of limited school resources during an emergency situation.     - Deemed unnecessary as a result of the Q&As that were released by USDA on April 11, 2020, indicating the allowance of offering meals during previously scheduled school break holidays with State agency approval. 

Waiver related to CEP deadlines during COVID19 outbreak

The Vermont Agency of Education is seeking a waiver of for the dates established in 7 CFR 245.9(f)(5)(i)-(xi) for the LEA to establish the number of students who are directly certified as of April 1, and to select to participate or renew participation in CEP by June 30.  In addition, AOE is seeking a waiver for the dates established in 7 CFR 245.9(f)(6)-(8) for the state agency to notify the LEA of their eligibility, and conduct public notification, using data as of April 1.     - Granted through Nationwide Waiver on March 26, 2020

Waiver related to area-eligibility requirements in the SFSP and SSO

The Vermont Agency of Education is applying for a waiver of the area eligibility requirement in SFSP [42 U.S.C. 1761(a)(1)(A)(i)(I)] that defines area eligibility as an area where at least 50% of the children have been determined eligible for free or reduced-price school meals.  The AOE is seeking to provide continuity of meal service to children 18 years and under during unanticipated school closures due to COVID-19 that reside in a non-area eligible location.     - Granted on March 29, 2020 and remains in effect until June 30, 2020

Waiver related to location of meals served in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program

The Vermont Agency of Education is applying for a waiver of requirement found in Section 4(b) and Section 13(a)(1) of the National School Lunch Act that school meals be served at school.  The state agency is seeking to allow schools operating the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program during a dismissal the flexibility to deliver meals to students homes or other sites in the community for pick-up.     - Granted through Nationwide Waiver on March 20, 2020

Waiver related to 60-day Claim Submission Deadline in the Child and Adult Care Food Program

The Vermont Agency of Education is applying for a waiver of the requirement found at 7 CFR 226.10(e). The State agency is seeking to allow flexibility with late claim submissions beyond the 60-day claim submission deadline during center closures and staff shortages due to COVID-19.      - Granted through Nationwide Waiver on April 1, 2020 for the January and February 2020 claim for reimbursement only.

Waiver related to meal pattern compliance in the Child and Adult Care Food Program

The Vermont Agency of Education is applying for a waiver of the requirements found at 7 CFR 226.20(a)(i), 7 CFR 226.20(a)(ii), 7 CFR 226.20(a)(iii), 7 CFR 226.20(a)(iv), and 7 CFR 226.20(a)(4)(i)(A). The State agency is seeking to allow flexibility with meeting meal pattern requirements for the type of milk served at meals and flexibility with meeting the whole grain-rich requirement during COVID-19 in areas with extensive food shortages.    - Granted through Nationwide Waiver on March 25, 2020. Nationwide waiver has been extended until July 31, 2020.

Waiver related to congregate feeding requirements in the Child and Adult Care Food Program

The Vermont Agency of Education is applying for a waiver of the Congregate Feeding Requirements found in 7 CFR 226.17(b)(9) and 7 CFR 226.19a(a)(11). The State agency is seeking to provide continuity of meal service to low income children and older adults during unexpected day care center closures due to COVID-19, and to support social distancing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by allowing meals and snacks to be served in non-congregate settings.   - Granted through Nationwide Waiver on March 20, 2020. Nationwide waiver has been extended until August 31, 2020.

Waiver related monitoring requirements in the Child and Adult Care Food Program

The Vermont Agency of Education is applying for a waiver of the requirement found in 7 CFR 226.16(d)(4) and 226.16(d)(4)(iii). The State agency is seeking to provide flexibility with meeting the monitoring requirements during COVID-19 to support social distancing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by allowing monitoring visits to be suspended during this time.   - Granted through Nationwide Waiver on March 27, 2020. Nationwide waiver has been extended until August 31, 2020.

Waiver related to congregate feeding requirements and timing requirements in the Summer Food Service Program and Seamless Summer Option

The Vermont Agency of Education is applying for a waiver of the Congregate Feeding Requirements found in 7 CFR 225.6(e)(15), and the timing requirements found in 7 CFR 225.16(c)(3), 7 CFR 225.6(d)(1)(iv). The state agency is seeking to provide continuity of meal service to low income students during unexpected school closures and student quarantine due to COVID-19, and to support social distancing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by allowing meals to be served in non-congregate settings.    - Granted on March 13, 2020. Nationwide waiver has been extended until August 31, 2020.

A list of additional Nationwide Waivers related to COVID-19 can be found on the USDA COVID-19 Website

Other Public Notices and Waivers

Contact Us

Vermont Agency of Education
Secretary Daniel M. French
1 National Life Drive, Davis 5
Montpelier, VT 05620-2501

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Phone: (802) 828-1130 | Fax: (802) 828-6430
aoe.edinfo@vermont.gov
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