MDE to Request Federal Waivers for Child Nutrition Programs

Contact: Martin Ackley, Director of Public and Governmental Affairs 517-241-4395
Agency: Education

July 8, 2020

LANSING – The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) announced today that it will request several federal waivers of statutory and regulatory requirements in child nutrition programs, in accordance with federal guidance, on behalf of all sponsors determined to be in good standing in the state of Michigan.

These waivers will help minimize potential exposure to the novel coronavirus by providing sponsors the flexibility to continue serving meals and snacks outside of regular cafeteria settings. The waivers will also minimize the complexity of the meal pattern requirements for sponsors.

MDE is seeking statewide waivers for School Year 2020-2021 for the following:

  • Requirements for the availability of drinking water, specific meal patterns for specific age and grade groups in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), and milk variety in the NSLP.
  • Suspension of the requirement to provide enrichment activities with the NSLP Afterschool Snack Program during non-congregate meal distribution.
  • Suspension of the enrichment activities for the at-risk afterschool snack program within the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) if serving non-congregate meals.
  • Allowance for MDE the have the option to conduct monitoring of CACFP institutions, sponsors, and facilities offsite (e.g. through a desk audit) and suspension of the monitoring requirement for MDE for number of annual desk audits to complete.

Upon approval of the waivers from the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), further MDE guidance will be issued to sponsors in Michigan. Sponsors will then be required to notify MDE which waivers are selected for use in their programs.

For questions about Michigan’s Child Nutrition Programs, contact Dr. Diane Golzynski, Director of MDE’s Office of Health and Nutrition Services, at 517-241-5364 or mde-schoolnutrition@michigan.gov.