Coronavirus Updates for Contracting Entities

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TDA understands the disruption that school and child/adult care facility closures is causing across the state of Texas. We are working diligently to create new resources and tools to assist you with continuing to feed Program participants during this trying time. If you can’t find what you need on this page or one of the Program Resources pages to the left, please contact 877-TEX MEAL or email squaremeals@texasagriculture.gov for assistance.

Please look at the Latest News section just below for the latest updates to guidance!

LATEST NEWS

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Updated 5/15/2020

USDA has issued Nationwide Waivers #22 - #25 extending for all Child Nutrition Programs previously issued waivers for non-congregate feeding, meal service times, no child present parent pick-up, and meal pattern flexibilities. Links to those waivers on the FNS site will post as soon as they are available. New FAQ documents will be posted shortly to incorporate all newly issued guidance.

Updated 5/6/2020

USDA regulations require that at least once every three years, NSLP CEs assess compliance with local school wellness policy and make assessment results available to the public. The first triennial assessment was due June 30, 2020; however, CEs may accept a new deadline of June 30, 2021, if desired. Please complete the intake form below to utilize flexibilities provided by USDA related to delaying the completion of the Local Wellness Policy Triennial Assessment.


Updated 4/27/20

USDA has issued Nationwide Waivers #18 - #21 pertaining to Program operations during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Links to those waivers on the FNS site will post as soon as they are available. New FAQ documents will be posted shortly to incorporate all newly issued guidance.


Updated 4/22/20
USDA has issued a new Q&A and additional Nationwide Waivers #13 - #17 pertaining to Program operations during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Included as part of these waivers are an extension of the Meal Pattern Waiver through May 31 for all Child Nutrition Programs and additional flexibilities for SFSP/SSO operators that extend through the end of the summer. Each new waiver is listed under the Nationwide Waivers section below. Links to those waivers on the FNS site will post as soon as they are available. The new Q&A is available under the USDA Guidance sections on each Program’s individual Resources page. New FAQ documents will be posted shortly to incorporate all newly issued guidance.


COVID-19 Waiver and Flexibility Requests

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Updated 5/27/2020

The Texas Department of Agriculture is requesting waivers from USDA to support the continued operation of meal service should coronavirus impact operations. Not all waivers are approved; should USDA approve any waivers related to meal service, TDA will update SquareMeals.org/coronavirus with further instructions. CEs should wait until they know the extent of the impact of coronavirus before submitting an application for any released waivers. Click here for all of the waivers submitted and under development, and the status of each.

COVID-19 Waiver Intake Forms

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In order to implement Nationwide Waivers and other statewide waivers related to COVID-19, Program operators need to submit their intent to participate along with additional information.Choose the applicable Intake Form from the list below:

Note that TDA will add more intake forms to this list as they are created. Forms will also be posted on the Programs' respective Resources pages.

Nationwide Waivers

Updated 5/15/20
To date, USDA has issued the following Nationwide Waivers to increase flexibility in operating the Child Nutrition Programs during the COVID-19 outbreak (Note: this list will be updated as new Nationwide Waivers are issued):

  1. Nationwide Waiver to Allow Meal Service Time Flexibility in the Child Nutrition Programs (Original expiration of June 30 extended to August 31 for NSLP and CACFP and September 30 for SFSP and SSO - see #17 and #23 below for extension information)
  2. Nationwide Waiver to Allow Non-congregate Feeding in the Child Nutrition Programs (Original expiration of June 30 extended to August 31 - see #22 below for extension information)
  3. Nationwide Waiver of the Activity Requirement in Afterschool Care Child Nutrition Programs (Expires June 30, 2020)
  4. Nationwide Waiver to Allow Meal Pattern Flexibility in the Child Nutrition Programs (Original expiration of April 30 extended to June 30 - see #24 below)
  5. Nationwide Waiver to Allow Parents and Guardians to Pick Up Meals for Children (Original expiration of June 30 extended to August 31 - see #25 below for extension information)
  6. Nationwide Waiver of Community Eligibility Provision Deadlines in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs (Expires August 30, 2020)
  7. Nationwide Waiver of Monitoring Requirements for Sponsors in the Child and Adult Care Food Program 
    (Expires June 30, 2020)
  8. Nationwide Waiver of Onsite Monitoring Requirements for State Agencies in the Child and Adult Care Food Program 
    (Expires June 30, 2020)
  9. Nationwide Waiver of Onsite Monitoring Requirements in the School Meals Programs (Expires June 30, 2020)
  10. Nationwide Waiver of Onsite Monitoring Requirements for Sponsoring Organizations in the Summer Food Service Program 
    (Expires June 30, 2020)
  11. Nationwide Waiver of Onsite Monitoring Requirements for State Agencies in the Summer Food Service Program (Expires June 30, 2020)
  12. Nationwide Waiver of 60 Day Reporting Requirements for January and February 2020 (Effective immediately for January and February claims only)
  13. Nationwide Waiver to Allow Meal Pattern Flexibility in the Child Nutrition Programs – EXTENSION (Extended Nationwide Waiver #4 through May 31 - waiver has since been extended through June 30)
  14. Nationwide Waiver to Allow Non-congregate Feeding in the Child Nutrition Programs - EXTENSION (Expiration extended from June 30 to August 31)
  15. Nationwide Waiver to Allow Meal Service Time Flexibility in the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, and Child and Adult Care Food Program - EXTENSION (Expiration extended from June 30 to August 31)
  16. Nationwide Waiver to Allow Meal Pattern Flexibility in the Child Nutrition Programs - EXTENSION (Expiration extended from May 31 to June 30)
  17. Nationwide Waiver to Allow Parents and Guardians to Pick Up Meals for Children - EXTENSION (Expiration extended from June 30 to August 31)

While TDA has notified USDA that the agency will enact the above Nationwide Waivers, we are analyzing the requirements associated with each to establish the process for implementation. Refer to our latest FAQ below for the latest guidance on the latest waivers.


Frequently Asked Questions

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Updated 3/25/20
The Texas Department of Agriculture continues to work with state and federal partners to address the response to COVID-19. TDA will continue to provide guidance received from USDA and other state partners to contracting entity partners that offer Food & Nutrition programs to Texans. Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions below for the latest guidance related to operations during COVID-19:


Additional Resources and Guidance

Updated 4/9/20
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Message from TDA Assistant Commissioner

Updated 3/16/20
Click here to read TDA Assistant Commissioner for Food and Nutrition Angela Olige's letter to school superintendents regarding regulations for schools serving meals during the Governor's disaster declaration for Texas.

Assistance available in English and Spanish. Please call 877-TEX-MEAL (877-839-6325) for help.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

Mail:
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.




Texas Department of Agriculture

Commissioner Sid Miller