Latest Coronavirus Updates
Coronavirus Updates for Contracting Entities

COVID-19 Guidance


IMPORTANT DOCUMENTATION
Food Program Application Update Windows in TX-UNPS This resource is intended to provide all contracting entities with information on when a program application can be updated for the applicable program year.
Emergency Operational Cost Reimbursement Program Section 722 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 provides additional funds to State agencies that administer NSLP, SBP, and CACFP. USDA will provide these funds to TDA through two temporary reimbursement programs.
COVID-19 Intake Forms TDA is requiring all program operators utilizing COVID-19 waivers to submit information to USDA regarding waiver usage. Refer to this page to identify which forms are required based on your program and elected waivers.
New Templates and Resources for SSO Operators in SY 2021-2022 TDA has developed new resources for SSO operators in 2021-2022, including new media release templates, household letters for SSO operators processing applications, eligibility notification letters, and Direct Certification eligibility letters.
CE Compliance Profile
The information in this resource is intended to provide CEs with a summary of currently available waivers on record as being requested by the CE.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
Summer 2021
Operations FAQ
School Year
2021-2022 FAQ
CACFP COVID-19
Operations FAQ

COVID-19 Waiver and Flexibility Requests


Updated 9/21/2021

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.


For a list of nationwide waivers,
click here.

Latest News


Updated 11/16/2021

USDA has issued guidance giving TDA the discretion to provide technical assistance in lieu of fiscal action for NSLP/SBP, SSO and CACFP CEs and sites that fail to meet meal pattern requirements due to COVID-19-related supply chain disruptions provided the CE, site, and/or provider can show good faith effort that every attempt was made to meet the requirements.

 

To assist CEs and sites in in these efforts, TDA has developed the Monthly Record of Meal Pattern Deviations Due to COVID-19 Supply Chain Disruptions Form, in which CEs can document instances during the COVID-19 pandemic when required food components were unavailable due to supply chain disruptions. Refer to the form instructions for more information about how this form is to be used.

Updated 10/27/2021

USDA continues to offer flexibilities in response to public health needs and to ease administrative burden, while still promoting nutritious meals. In August 2021, Team Nutrition released the “Planning for a Dynamic School Environment” webpages which provided valuable information about meal service flexibilities and procurement strategies for school year (SY) 2021-2022. This web content has been updated to include additional information on waivers, P-EBT guidance, and policy documents, and is now also available as designed, printer-friendly PDF documents at the following links:

Updated 9/14/2021
TDA has updated its list of resources for SSO operators in 2021-2022 to include new verification letter templates to go along with the new media release templates, household letters for SSO operators processing applications, eligibility notification letters, and Direct Certification eligibility letters. Click here for more information.


Additional Resources and Guidance


Team Nutrition’s Back to School Resources (NEW!)

Modifying School Spaces During Mealtimes to Reduce Spread of COVID-19

Safely Distributing School Meals During COVID-19


USDA Food and Nutrition Service Program Guidance on Human Pandemic Response
 - Find out more about specific program flexibilities for federal nutrition programs.

School Nutrition Association Emergency Planning Resources - SNA will continue to seek the most up-to-date information about the virus and provide it to members as appropriate. 

Texas Department of State Health Services - Information for communities and other specific groups on how to prepare and take action for COVID-19.

Texas Education Agency - Support and guidance page provides information about school closures, a recap of the superintendents' call and other resources.

Department of Homeland Security


Need Assistance? Contact Us


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.

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: How to File a Complaint, 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
Fax: (202) 690-7442; or
 
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
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Texas Department of Agriculture

Commissioner Sid Miller

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