October 6, 2022
With wildfires ravaging communities on the West Coast and hurricane season well underway on the East Coast, school districts and other operators of Child Nutrition Programs can work with their state child nutrition agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide critical nutrition support to students and their families.
When a major disaster declaration is issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), USDA has the authority to waive program requirements that limit access to meals in situations resulting from damage or disruptions due to natural or human-made disasters, or other exceptional emergency situations. These include, but are not limited to, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, and floods. School districts and other entities that operate Child Nutrition Programs can work with their state child nutrition agency and USDA to apply for waivers from program requirements that would otherwise limit children’s access to meals.
Waivers that have been approved previously include:
- Waiving the area eligibility requirement for summer meal sites;
- Waiving the congregate feeding requirement; and
- Waiving meal pattern requirements.
To learn more:
- read FRAC’s one-pager on the ways schools can leverage the Child Nutrition Programs during disasters to provide relief to students and families
- FRAC’s The Advocate’s Guide to the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP), which includes information on the Child Nutrition Programs.
- You also can see resources from USDA on disaster response and the Child Nutrition Programs here and here.