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Emergency Feeding

Emergency feeding

School Food Authorities (SFAs) and other child nutrition program sponsors can serve free meals to children in the event of an unanticipated school closure, extreme weather event, natural disaster, or other similar situation. It is highly recommended that SFAs and sponsors develop an Emergency Readiness Plan to ensure a rapid and efficient response if an emergency situation arises.

For school districts and sponsors

View School Nutrition Waivers

These waivers allow flexibility to the child nutrition program requirements allowing sponsors to continue to feed children while promoting social distancing and keeping families safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pursuant to the COVID–19 Child Nutrition Response Act (the Act) (H.R. 6201, Title II), and based on the exceptional circumstances of this public health emergency, the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) established nationwide waivers that allow flexibility to the child nutrition program requirements. School Nutrition is approved for all waivers. 

Resources and Documentation: 

Programs available to feed youth during an emergency

When schools face unanticipated closures that prevent children from receiving educational instruction and the nutritious meals they would normally receive, sponsors may choose to operate the Summer Food Service Program or the NSLP Seamless Summer Option to help ensure children continue to receive meals.

This chart (PDF) shows how NSLP, SSO, and SFSP compare. 

Tools and Guidance

USDA Information