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COVID-19 UPDATES

NY State Updates on Coronavirus and Operation of Federal Nutrition Assistance Programs

For the 2.2 million people living in NY households that struggle against hunger, COVID-19 presents unique challenges.

Hunger Solutions New York is working to provide updates that can help schools, community organizations, and families mitigate the impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus) on the food security of low-income people.

Have you or your family been affected by the Coronavirus outbreak?

You may be eligible for programs that help you buy food. Get information on applying for SNAP and WIC during the COVID-19 outbreak, and learn how we can help.

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SNAP —updated 11/9/21

11/9/21 Update:
COVID-19 Emergency Allotments to ALL Families/Individuals Receiving SNAP in November

See the COVID-19 November Emergency Allotments to SNAP Households guidance from OTDA.

Background:

Emergency Allotments (EA) of SNAP benefits were authorized by Congress under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020. The EA of SNAP will continue each month until the COVID-19 public health emergency is lifted in our nation.

The New York State COVID-19 emergency declaration ended on June 24th. USDA has granted states a month-by-month approval of EAs even when states have ended their emergency declarations, if they have some other public health declaration in place to show that COVID-19 is still an emergency.

OTDA must submit a monthly plan to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Services (FNS), for approval in order to provide the EA to SNAP recipients in NYS. USDA FNS has approved NYS’s plan to distribute EA of SNAP benefits in November 2021.

Hunger Solutions New York will continue to monitor USDA’s approval of EA of SNAP for NYS and will provide information on the monthly distribution schedule and other important information, as it becomes available.

November SNAP EA Benefit

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced that it has updated the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP), which is used to set SNAP benefit levels.
As a result, the maximum SNAP benefit increased by 21 percent on October 1, 2021. For example, the maximum SNAP benefit for a household of three was $616 (including the 15% SNAP boost). On October 1 the maximum SNAP benefit for a household of three is now $658.

This modest increase will make a difference for families who often run out of benefits before month’s end.

Learn more about this change to the TFP – including a chart with the new October 1 SNAP maximum allotments.

This Consumer FAQ explains who will receive the November EA supplement benefit, provides a SNAP maximum benefit allotments chart with the updated TFP amounts, and highlights what SNAP clients should know about this supplement SNAP benefit.

Issuance Schedule for November 2021:

  • NYC: issuance based on the last digit of the case number from 11/15 through 11/19, and from 11/21 through 11/29/21
    • SNAP EA benefits will be available the day after they are issued per the schedules above.
  • Rest of State: issuance based on each district’s caseload which will be divided randomly, from 11/8 through 11/10, and from 11/15 through 11/18/21.
    • SNAP EA benefits will be available after midnight on the day after they are issued per the schedule above.

Additional Issuance Days in November: due to the volume of cases receiving EA in November it may be necessary to add days to the issuance schedule above.

Other important details include:

  • In April, 2021, all SNAP households became eligible for the EA of SNAP benefits due to USDA’s new guidance. EA of SNAP benefits are now:
    • $95.00 a month for those already receiving the maximum SNAP benefit,
    • $95.00 a month for those with a calculated EA amount between $1 and $95, and
    • for all other households the EA amount will equal the difference between their regular monthly SNAP benefit and the maximum benefit for their households’ size.
  • In November, all SNAP households eligible for a SNAP benefit will receive an EA supplement.
  • The November EA supplement will be automatically added to the SNAP EBT card of each eligible SNAP household. A notice about the EA supplement will not be sent by the SNAP office. Those eligible for the supplement should keep checking their EBT balance.
  • For newly approved SNAP cases in November, additional issuances will be run to catch those cases that did not receive the November EA supplement in the original issuances listed above.
  • Families and individuals who get SNAP and who are eligible to receive the November EA SNAP supplemental benefit do not need to do anything. SNAP clients do not need to apply for the benefit and are being asked not to call local districts to inquire about the benefit.
  • EA SNAP supplement benefits do not need to be spent immediately. Unused SNAP benefits, including the EA supplement, remain available on the EBT card for 274 days.

 

9/29/21 Update:
COVID-19 SNAP Interview Waiver Extended Through December 31, 2021

OTDA issued a notice on COVID-19 to local social service districts. Highlights include:

The Continuing Resolution (CR) signed into law on October 1, 2020, reinstated the SNAP interview adjustment waivers and certification extension period waiver originally authorized under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The CR reinstated and extended the availability of these waivers through June 30, 2021. In April, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) further extended the availability of these waivers until December 31, 2021.

In NYS, the following SNAP COVID interview waivers have been extended and are now in effect through December 31, 2021. SNAP offices have a choice in implementing these waivers although most counties in NYS continue to utilize interview waivers at this time.

Interview Adjustments at Initial Application and Recertification
SNAP offices are not required to interview a household at initial application or recertification through December 31, 2021, if the following conditions are met:

  • The applicant’s identity has been verified; and,
  • All other mandatory information and verification has been provided and is valid:
    • Identity
    • Social Security Number
    • Residency
    • Gross non-exempt income (earned and unearned)
    • Disability
    • Immigration Status (also referred to as, “Alien Status” by OTDA)
  • If either of these conditions are not met, then an interview will be required.
  • SNAP offices are directed to make every attempt to verify household circumstances through data matching and information currently present in the State and district systems.
  • SNAP offices will be required to interview the household if any of the information or verification submitted is unclear or cannot be verified through separate data matches.

New Applications Eligible for Expedited Processing
SNAP offices can choose to apply the following rules through December 31, 2021:

  • SNAP applications found eligible for expedited processing may be processed and an expedited benefit issued without an interview being attempted or taking place if the following conditions are met:
    • the applicant’s identity has been verified; and
    • the applicant has provided enough information for the SNAP office to determine eligibility and calculate a SNAP benefit.
  • SNAP applicants receiving an expedited benefit and being processed for ongoing SNAP benefits do not need to be interviewed if they submitted all mandatory verification (see list of mandatory verification above) prior to receiving the ongoing SNAP benefits.

Telephonic Signature
Telephonic Signature is a temporary waiver due to COVID-19 and allows SNAP offices to adjust the requirements for recording a telephonic signature for SNAP applications filed over the telephone or submitted without a signature. This waiver will now continue through December 31, 2021. SNAP offices can choose to implement this waiver and must let OTDA know that they are implementing this waiver.

 

8/31/21 Update:
Impact of Emergency Rental Assistance Program on SNAP Eligibility/Budgeting

OTDA issued a notice on COVID-19 to local social service districts. Highlights include:

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) is designed to provide economic relief to low- and moderate-income households around past due rental and utility bills for their primary residence accrued during the COVID-19 emergency.

If approved applicants for ERAP may receive a variety of assistance including 12 months of rental arrears, up to 3 months of future rent, and 12 months of payment of electric or gas utility arrears. The ERAP payment will be paid directly to the landlord and utility company on behalf of the tenant.

Impact of receiving ERAP benefits if also receiving SNAP:

  • ERAP benefits do not count as income or as a resource for SNAP eligibility or budgeting purposes.

Things to note:

  • A call center is available to handle ERAP questions by telephone and webchat
  • The telephone # is 1-844-NY1-RENT (1-844-691-7368)
  • Webchat can be accessed from the OTDA ERAP website.

 

7/21/21 Update:
Resuming SNAP Employment Requirements Following COVID-19 Closures

OTDA issued a notice on COVID-19 to local SNAP offices which highlighted the following:

Beginning on August 1, 2021, SNAP offices may start in-person employment assessments and mandatory in-person work activity assignments for SNAP recipients who must participate in Employment and Training (E&T) activities under SNAP rules.

For more information on SNAP E&T requirements, exemptions and activities see our SNAP Prescreening Guide pages 36-39 and Appendix K.

SNAP offices are encouraged to reach out to local worksites, employment vendors and community-based workforce partners to discuss capacity, programming options and other planning to ensure a smooth transition for SNAP recipients.

Employment Assessments and Employment Plan
SNAP offices may choose to do employment assessments and employment plans by telephone or in-person. The following applies:

  • If a SNAP office is unable to conduct assessments or develop employment plans safely with in-person meetings then they should continue to conduct these by phone.
  • SNAP recipients must be properly notified of the upcoming phone assessment appointment and reasonable attempts to contact the individual must be made and be present in the case file.

Orientation
SNAP offices can start conducting in-person orientations in accordance with social distancing guidelines, and ensuring that proper safety and sanitation procedures are in place. The following applies:

  • SNAP offices may continue to conduct employment orientations individually during the eligibility interview, over the phone, online or by providing written materials by mail.
  • SNAP recipients who do not attend an employment orientation will not be subject to negative action solely for failing to attend the orientation.

Verifying Exemptions from Work Requirements
SNAP applicants who are exempt from work requirements must provide proof to the SNAP office. A SNAP applicant/recipient who claims they are exempt from work requirements and fails to provide documentation to support this will be subject to SNAP work requirements and sanctions for failing to participate. The following applies:

  • SNAP applicants must be given 10 calendar days to submit needed medical documentation and must be provided with the approved form used by the district.
  • Individuals having trouble getting the medical documentation needed in a timely manner due to limitations of the medical provider may request and be granted additional time. This must be noted in the case record.
  • The SNAP office is required to assist individuals who are unable to get the needed documents when the individual makes known that they have made reasonable efforts to obtain the information from a third party and the third party fails or refuses to provide the needed information.
    • If there is a fee for providing the information the SNAP office must pay this fee or assist the applicant in getting the information.
    • The SNAP office must consider all good cause factors before any negative action is taken.

Work Activities
SNAP offices may begin to assign in-person work activities for non-exempt SNAP applicants/recipients on August 1, 2021. The following applies:

  • Unvaccinated SNAP applicants or recipients may be unable to participate in a work/education activity if there is a COVID-19 vaccine requirement. In this case, the SNAP office may not take a negative action against the individual.
  • SNAP offices cannot require that a SNAP applicant or recipient get a COVID-19 vaccination in order to participate in a work/education activity or accept an offer of employment and must provide other work activities in these cases.
  • Any individual unable to attend a work activity due to barriers (e.g., no child care available, lack of transportation, etc.) must be afforded good cause and aided in overcoming the barrier.
  • SNAP offices should provide masks and other protective gear to individuals when needed or requested and if not otherwise provided by the employer or work site.

Job Search and Job Readiness
On August 1, 2021, SNAP offices may start to assign mandatory job search and job readiness activities. When starting job search/job readiness activities, SNAP offices must ensure that individuals assigned to these activities have the necessary resources to fully participate in the assignment. This includes:

  • Understanding local barriers and limitations due to COVID-19 on the availability of libraries, career centers and employment services, and helping individuals identify available job search resources and employment opportunities.
  • Ensuring individuals have access to a computer, internet, in-person or remote job search assistance as well as access to needed supportive services like child care and transportation.

Willful and Without Good Cause Determinations
SNAP applicants/recipients who fail to comply with a mandatory work activity assignment, including virtual work assignments made by the SNAP office must, be given a chance to explain why they did not comply. This is called a conciliation.

  • During conciliation, the SNAP office must evaluate the individual’s reasons and any other evidence about the failure to comply, and decide whether the failure to comply was both willful and without good cause.
  • Conciliation can be done in-person, by phone or in writing by the individual.
  • SNAP offices must provide supportive services for those who fail to comply including but not limited to things like childcare, books and supplies.
  • SNAP offices may not require individuals to get a COVID-19 vaccine in order to participate in a specific work or educational activity or accept a job with a specific employer.
    • SNAP offices must grant good cause if an individual is not able to participate in an activity for this reason and must provide other referrals to more suitable activities.
  • If a good cause exemption is not met by the SNAP applicant/recipient they can avoid a SNAP employment sanction by participating in the employment activities assigned by the SNAP office.


7/20/21 Update:

Statewide Waiver of the Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWD) Time Limits Continues in NYS

OTDA issued a notice on COVID-19 to SNAP offices in New York State that includes an update on the suspension of the ABAWD time limit rule in NYS. Due to NYS’ continued eligibility for extended unemployment benefits, OTDA will continue to waive the ABAWD time limit rule in all counties from October 1, 2021, through September 30, 2022.

The ABAWD time limit rule is currently suspended in all counties in NYS through September 30, 2021.

Under normal circumstances, childless adults between the ages of 18 and 49—referred to in SNAP regulations as Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWD)—are subject to a time limit rule. SNAP benefits under the ABAWD rule are limited to three months within a three-year period, unless the individual is working or enrolled in a work program for 80 hours each month.

SNAP recipients who are newly determined to fall under the ABAWD time limit rule will be sent a notice about this determination. These letters are not a notice of a requirement to work or take any action. They merely let the SNAP recipient know that they fall under the criteria for the ABAWD time limit rules which are currently suspended.

 

5/25/21 Update:
Verification of Eligibility for the Temporary Federal Student Exemptions

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 that was signed into law on December 27 temporarily expands SNAP eligibility for students who are enrolled at least half time in an institution of higher education.

On April 27, OTDA issued a notice on the Temporary Expansion of Student Eligibility to local social service districts.

See our January 25th post below for more information on the temporary federal student exemptions that the Act put in place or see our SNAP and Student web page.

The Act temporarily expands the student eligibility rules by adding the following two exemptions to the list of student exemptions during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • A student is eligible for SNAP if the student is eligible to participate in state or federal work-study, regardless if the student is actively employed or participating in work-study and meets all other SNAP eligibility criteria.
  • A student is eligible for SNAP if they have an expected family contribution (EFC) of $0 in the current academic year under federal student financial aid rules and meets all other SNAP eligibility criteria.

Students must provide proof to the SNAP office that they meet any of the above exemptions. The following documents are acceptable:

  • Eligible to participate in state or federal work-study;
    • A copy of the financial aid award letter, or
    • Request in writing that the institution of higher learning communicate with the SNAP office the student’s eligibility to participate in work study.
  • Have an expected family contribution (EFC) of $0 in the current academic year;
    • A copy of the financial aid award letter provided to a student by the institution of higher education, or
    • A copy of the Student Aid Report (SAR), or
    • Request in writing that the institution of higher learning communicate with the SNAP office verifying the EFC of zero for the student.

The amended student eligibility rules will remain in effect until 30 days after the COVID-19 federal public health emergency is lifted. Students granted one of these temporary exemptions will continue to be eligible for SNAP until their next recertification regardless of the COVID-19 emergency declaration being lifted at any time during the student’s certification period.

 

4/2/21 Update:
On March 23, OTDA issued a notice on COVID-19 to local social service districts. Highlights include:

The American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021 was signed into law on March 11, 2021. The Act includes the extension of previously authorized Federal Pandemic Unemployment Insurance Benefit payments, the issuance of 2021 Recovery Rebate Payments and monthly Child Tax Credits.

This update highlights how these payments will be treated under SNAP rules.

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Insurance Payments:
The ARP authorized extensions for both Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) through September 6, 2021.

SNAP budgeting rules count Unemployment Insurance Benefits (UIB) as unearned income. Both the PUA and PEUC are for workers who are ineligible for regular UIB. Therefore, the PUA and PEUC benefits are viewed as regular unemployment benefits for workers under SNAP rules.

Additionally, the ARP extends the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Payments (FPUC) through September 6, 2021. The FPUC provides an additional $300 in federally funded dollars to the weekly UIB payments of eligible worker and will be provided through the NYS Department of Labor. The FPUC payments are also available to people who have earned over $5,000 or more in self-employment income during the last year. This is called a Mixed Earner Benefit and is equal to an additional $100 each week in UIB benefits to eligible workers.

Treatment as Income/Resources for SNAP:

  • UIB/PUA/PEUC payments COUNT as unearned income.
  • FPUC $300/$100 payments are EXCLUDED as income and resources in the month of receipt and for 9 months following receipt.
    • Retroactive FPUC payments are excluded as income for SNAP.

2021 Recovery Rebates (aka Stimulus Checks)
The Act authorizes additional recovery rebates for individuals including children, similar to the payments authorized under the CARES Act and the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 when $1,200 payments and $600 payments were authorized.

Treatment as Income/Resources for SNAP:

  • Excluded as income in the month of receipt.
  • Excluded as a resource* for 12 months following receipt.

*Most SNAP Households in NYS do not have a resource test for SNAP due to Categorical Eligibility (Cat-El).

2021 Child Tax Credits (CTC)
The ARP expands the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and allows households with children to claim up to $3,600 and allows for the CTC to be provided in advance monthly payments.

Treatment as Income/Resources for SNAP:

  • Excluded as income in the month of receipt.
    • This applies if the CTC is received as either an annual payment or advanced monthly payments.
  • Excluded as a resource* for 12 months following receipt.

*Most SNAP Households in NYS do not have a resource test for SNAP due to Categorical Eligibility (Cat-El).

 

3/23/21 Update:
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 brings much-needed relief to households in need, investing $12 billion in nutrition assistance programs designed to mitigate unprecedented rates of hunger across the nation.

The Act extends the 15 percent increase in the maximum SNAP benefit through September 2021. Other SNAP investments provide administrative funds to help states accommodate increased demand and expanded access for families to use SNAP benefits to purchase groceries online.

See our updated October 1 Toolkit with updated materials reflecting the extension of the 15% SNAP Boost.

 

1/25/21 Update:
SNAP Gets a 15% Boost and More in the Newest COVID Package Passed by Congress

The federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 that was signed into law on December 27 provides funding for needed nutrition assistance, including investments in SNAP, that will go a long way toward addressing the rising hunger crisis associated with the pandemic and economic downturn.

See the Upstate and NYC – Impacts of the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 guidance from OTDA.

Six-Month Boost to SNAP Maximum Benefits

The Act increases the maximum monthly SNAP benefit allotments (AKA: Thrifty Food Plan) by 15% from January 1 through June 30, 2021.

See our SNAP Budget Worksheet for the updated Thrifty Food Plan (pg. 2, Chart D) amounts per household size that took effect on January 1.

The SNAP benefit increase is the difference between the old maximum benefit amount and the new maximum benefit amount based on household size.

For example:

SNAP Household Size October – December 2020 Benefit amount January – June 2021 Benefit Amount Change in Benefit Amount
1 $204 $234 $30
2 $374 $430 $56
3 $535 $616 $81


Issuance Schedule for January 2021 15% SNAP Boost:
In January only, the 15% increase will be issued as a supplement to all eligible SNAP households in addition to the January Emergency Allotments (EAs).

  • NYC: issuance based on the last digit of the case number on 1/15, from 1/19 through 1/22, and from 1/25 through 1/29/2021.
  • Rest of State: issuance based on each districts caseload which will be divided randomly, from 1/11 through 1/14, and from 1/18 through 1/21/2021.

Beginning in February and continuing through June, the 15% increase to the maximum SNAP benefits will be incorporated into the regular monthly SNAP benefit issuance processes and amounts.

Additionally, the NYS Nutrition Improvement Project (NYSNIP) benefits will increase by 15% from January 1 through June 30, 2021. Find an updated NYSNIP Matrix with the temporary increase included here.

Minimum Benefit Change

The Act also increase the minimum monthly SNAP allotment for households of one or two from $16 to $19.

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) Payments

This package extends the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Payments (FPUC) by providing an additional $300 a week of federally funded unemployment benefits to eligible workers.

Under SNAP rules, the $300 FPUC does not count as income or a resource when determining eligibility and calculating benefits for SNAP.

Student Eligibility

The Act temporarily expands SNAP eligibility for students who are enrolled at least half time in an institution of higher education.

SNAP rules regulate that students enrolled at least half time in an institution of higher learning must be working 20 hours or more a week or meet an exemption to the student rules in order to participate in SNAP. For more information on the SNAP rules for students,  see our SNAP Prescreening Guide (pgs. 30 -31).

First, the Act amends an already allowable exemption around work study. Prior to January students participating in work study (no hourly minimum) were eligible for SNAP if they met all other income and eligibility criteria.

The amended exemption is below:

  • A student is eligible for SNAP if the student is eligible to participate in state or federal work-study, regardless if the student is actively employed or participating in work-study and meets all other SNAP eligibility criteria.

Second, the Act offers a new allowable exemption for students:

  • A student is eligible for SNAP if they have an expected family contribution (EFC) of $0 in the current academic year under federal student financial aid rules (determination under the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) that is used to calculate the amount of federal Pell Grants and other aid for a which a student qualifies) and meets all other SNAP eligibility criteria.

The amended student eligibility rules will remain in effect until 30 days after the COVID-19 federal public health emergency is lifted. Students granted one of these temporary exemptions will continue to be eligible for SNAP until their next recertification regardless of the COVID-19 emergency declaration being lifted at any time during the student’s certification period.

For more information, visit our SNAP and Students page.

2020 Recovery Rebate Payments for Individuals

Finally, the Act authorizes $600 rebate payments to eligible individuals, including children, similar to those authorize under the CARES Act.

For SNAP purposes these rebate payments are:

  • excluded as income in the month they are received, and
  • excluded as a resource for 12 months following receipt.

 

9/29/20 Update:
On September 24, OTDA issued a notice on COVID-19 to local social service districts. Highlights include:

Treatment of the New Supplement Lost Wages Payments for SNAP

Supplemental Lost Wages (SLW) payments are being issued by the NYS Department of Labor and provide an additional $300 in federally funded dollars each week to the Unemployment Insurance Benefit (UBI) of eligible workers.

  • SLW payments must NOT be counted as income or as a resource in determining eligibility or calculating a benefit amount for SNAP.
  • If a SNAP recipient receives the SLW retroactively, the retroactive benefits are also not counted as income.
  • The SLW payments are funded differently than the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) payments of $600. This is why the SLW payments are treated differently under SNAP rules.

On August 14, OTDA issued a notice on COVID-19 to local social services districts. Highlights include:

9/14/20 Update:
On September 10th the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) released a fraud alert warning of scams targeting SNAP recipients. Highlights include:

  • USDA has received reports of several possible SNAP Fraud attempts including attempts in NYC.
  • Be aware of a scam using texting to obtain your personal information. The text might say you were chosen to receive food stamps or SNAP. If you do not know if a request for information about SNAP is real or not, contact your local SNAP office.
  • Never share personal information with individuals or organizations that you do not know. Personal information includes your social security number, bank information, or SNAP electronic benefits transfer card or PIN number.
  • If you think the text is a scam, do not reply at all. Just delete.
  • If SNAP participants are unsure if a request for information is legitimate, USDA advises they contact their local SNAP office. To find your local SNAP/HRA office call:
    • Outside New York City, dial 800-342-3009
    • In New York City, dial 311.
  • To stay on top of potential scams, please visit:

 

4/8/20 Update:
On April 6, OTDA issued a notice on COVID-19 to local social service districts. Highlights include:

SNAP Treatment of COVID-19 Stimulus “Recovery Rebates”

The recently passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes direct payments for low- and middle-income families of $1,200 for most adults ($2,400 for a married couple) and $500 for children under age 17.

Treatment as Income:

  • The one-time “Recovery Rebate” payments are not counted as income for SNAP. The payment is excluded as a non-recurring, lump sum payment, and does not count as income under SNAP rules.

Treatment as a Resources:

Most SNAP Households in NYS do not have a resource test for SNAP due to Categorical Eligibility (Cat-El). The information below applies to households who are NOT categorically eligible for SNAP.

  • For households currently receiving SNAP: payments are excluded as a resource for 12 months from the date the payment is received.  Any remaining balance after a year would be counted as a resource.
  • For new SNAP applicants: payments are excluded as a resource in the month received, and the month after. Any remaining balance would be counted as a resource in the following months.  

 

3/26/20 Update:
On March 24th, NYS OTDA issued a notice on COVID-19 to local social service districts. Highlights include:

  • SNAP offices provide essential services and are exempt from the in-person work restrictions put in place in NYS and regardless of county-wide mandates to close county government offices.

WIC —updated 10/25/21

10/25/21 Update:
Cash Value Benefit Increase

On September 30th, 2021 Congress approved the continuing resolution, which includes a provision that extends the American Rescue Plan Act’s temporary increase of the Cash Value Benefit (CVB) for fruits and vegetables for WIC participants until December 31st, 2021. The temporary CVB amounts are set at 50% of the recommended intake based on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) guidance, resulting in monthly CVB benefits of:

  • $24 for children,
  • $43 for pregnant and postpartum participants,
  • $47 for breastfeeding participants, and
  • $70.50 for participants fully breastfeeding multiple infants.

In New York State, 10/21/21 internal NYSDOH WIC guidance states the benefit will be automatically added to eligible food packages with a Benefit Start Date of October 1st, 2021 through December 31st, 2021. Participants may redeem their December benefits in January.

Participants not eligible include:

  • All infants
  • Participants without the CVB in their food package, such as a child receiving infant fruits and vegetables in lieu of the CVB or a WBPs participant beyond 6 months postpartum.

Participants will be able to redeem the increased CVB through the benefits valid through (BVT) date even if the BVT date is past December 31st, 2021.

The change to October benefits that have already been issued will automatically occur in NYWIC on the evening of October 26th, and available for use October 27, 2021.

 

10/20/21 Update:
WIC Flexibilities Renewed through mid-April 2022

HHS Renewal of Determination
On October 15, 2021, United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra renewed the COVID-19 public health emergency as of October 18. The last extension was on July 19, 2021, to last through October 21, 2021. By renewing the declaration, waivers and flexibilities associated with the COVID-19 pandemic will extend through at least mid-April, 2022.

Background:
On September 21, USDA extended approved WIC waivers for remote certifications, food substitutions, and other flexibilities. As a result of USDA FNS hearing from state agency partners that a safe and successful return to normal operations will require more than 30 days’ notice once the nationally-declared public health emergency ends, USDA extended WIC waivers until 90 days after the end of the nationally-declared public health emergency under section 319 of the Public Health Service Act (42 USC 247d). This ensures that WIC flexibilities are now in place until at least mid-April. For New York, most notably, WIC agencies are allowed to issue benefits remotely so participants don’t have to pick up their WIC benefits in person. Participants may enroll or re-enroll in WIC without visiting a clinic in person and postpone certain medical tests. Specifically, clinics may serve participants remotely via telephone, text or videoconference, and remotely load WIC benefits onto eWIC cards.

 

7/21/21 Update:
WIC Flexibilities Renewed through mid-November

HHS Renewal of Determination
On July 19, 2021, United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra renewed the COVID-19 public health emergency as of July 20. The last extension was on April 21, 2021, to last through July 21, 2021. By renewing the declaration, waivers and flexibilities associated with the COVID-19 pandemic will extend through at least October 21, 2021.

Last September, USDA extended approved WIC waivers for remote certifications, food substitutions, and other flexibilities through 30 days after the expiration of the public health emergency. The recent extension of the public health emergency declaration for COVID-19 ensures that WIC flexibilities are now in place until at least mid-November. For New York, most notably, WIC agencies are allowed to issue benefits remotely so participants don’t have to pick up their WIC benefits in person. Participants may enroll or re-enroll in WIC without visiting a clinic in person and postpone certain medical tests. Specifically, clinics may serve participants remotely via telephone, text or videoconference, and remotely load WIC benefits onto eWIC cards.

 

6/30/ 21 Update:
Cash Value Benefit Increase

The NYS WIC Program will temporarily provide a maximum value of $35 fruits and vegetables cash value benefit (CVB) per eligible participant per benefit month. The $35 CVB will be automatically added to eligible food packages with a benefit start date (BSD) of June 1st through September 30th, 2021. Eligible participants include infants 9-11 months old receiving food package III, in addition to children, and women who have the CVB food item in their food package. Infants not receiving food package III are not eligible.

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 signed into law in March invests $12 billion to address food insecurity due to COVID-19, including $880 million in new, temporary funding to strengthen WIC services; $490 million to enhance WIC benefits for four months and $390 million in outreach, innovation, and program modernization funding.

 

3/12/21 Update:
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 invests $12 billion to address food insecurity due to COVID-19, including $880 million in new, temporary funding to strengthen WIC services; $490 million to enhance WIC benefits for four months and $390 million in outreach, innovation, and program modernization funding.

Specifically, with the $490 million in temporary funding, state WIC Agencies can now more than triple the Cash Value Benefit (the fruit and vegetable benefit) to $35 per month for a period of four months before September 30. The funding of $390 million to USDA to strengthen outreach, innovation, and program modernization efforts will enhance the program’s ability to connect eligible families with WIC’s services and improve healthy foods redemption rates.

The American Rescue Plan also includes other provisions with positive WIC implications: $1,400 in direct cash assistance and a significant expansion of the Child Tax Credit to up to $3,600 per child under age 6; both of which are not considered income for the purposes of WIC eligibility. Additionally, there is a five-year increase to postpartum Medicaid.

 

1/20/21 Update:
HHS Renewal of Determination

On January 7, 2021, departing United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar renewed the COVID-19 public health emergency as of January 21, 2021. The last extension was on October 2, 2020, to last through January 21, 2021. By renewing the declaration, waivers and flexibilities associated with the COVID-19 pandemic will extend through at least April 21, 2021.

Last September, USDA extended approved WIC waivers for remote certifications, food substitutions, and other flexibilities through 30 days after the expiration of the public health emergency. The recent extension of the public health emergency declaration for COVID-19 ensures that WIC flexibilities are now in place until at least mid-May. For New York, most notably, WIC agencies are allowed to issue benefits remotely so participants don’t have to pick up their WIC benefits in person. Participants may enroll or re-enroll in WIC without visiting a clinic in person and postpone certain medical tests. Specifically, clinics may serve participants remotely via telephone, text or videoconference, and remotely load WIC benefits onto eWIC cards.

 

9/23/20 Update:
USDA Policy Memo

FNS is extending all current waivers through the end of the pandemic for all WIC state agencies that choose to continue operations under such waivers. For New York, most notably, WIC agencies are allowed to issue benefits remotely so participants don’t have to pick up their WIC benefits in person. Participants may enroll or re-enroll in WIC without visiting a clinic in person and postpone certain medical tests.

 

5/25/20 Update:
USDA Policy Memo

NYS WIC offices remain open and are ready to serve current and new families that are pregnant, have a newborn or children less than 5 years old. Many offices are able to help you by phone, some are offering on-site appointments. Check to see if your family is eligible here. Then, use this link to find the WIC Office that is convenient for you to schedule an appointment.

 

3/23/20 Update:
Many NYS WIC offices are still able to help you by phone. On-site appointments are limited. There are no changes to your family’s “Benefits Valid Through” date. To check your WIC benefit balance, see:

  • WIC2Go, the mobile app
  • Your last store receipt
  • Your store’s customer service desk
  • Customer Service at 1844-540-3031
  • wicconnect.com

New York State WIC is not suspending any eWIC cards. Please be aware there are scams online telling families cards are being suspended. This is not true. Once a family receives their benefits, they have the 30-day date range to use those benefits.

If you have additional questions, please contact your local WIC agency.

School Meals —updated 4/20/21

4/20/21 Update:

USDA has issued a number of nationwide child nutrition waivers for the 2021-2022 school year. The waivers—effective July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022—allow:

For more information, see NYS Education Department’s memo. Additional guidance is forthcoming.

 

8/26/2020 Update:
School Meal Waivers for the 2020-2021 School Year
USDA Waivers approved for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP), July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021

Schools who operate the NSLP and SBP (also referred to as School Food Authorities (SFAs)) must notify the NYSED Office of Child Nutrition of their plan to use any of the following waivers necessary for operations during the 2020-2021 school year:

  • Non-Congregate Feeding
  • Meal Service Time Flexibility
  • Bulk meals require both non-congregate and meal service time waivers
  • Parent/Guardian Meal Pick Up
  • Meal Pattern Flexibility
  • “Offer Versus Serve” Flexibility for Senior High Schools.

NYSED Office of Child Nutrition has provided guidance to SFAs on each of these waivers here.

School Food Authorities must contact their NYSED Child Nutrition Program Representative to ensure operations are within waiver allowances

NYSED Reopening Guidance

“The closing of schools in March 2020 has profoundly affected the lives of New Yorkers. This impact will continue through the 2020-21 school year and beyond. While no one can predict all the challenges that may arise over the coming weeks and months, it is imperative that we plan for a safe and orderly return to school.”

View the entire reopening plan on NYSED’s website here. Information specific to Child Nutrition can be found on page 54 of the Reopening Schools Guidance.

 

5/20/2020 Update:
Nationwide Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) Data Waiver
USDA Guidance
NYSED Memo

USDA-FNS issued a nationwide waiver extending CEP deadlines due to the COVID-19 public health crisis. The two key changes for schools newly adopting or recertifying for CEP for the 2020-21 school year include:

  • Applications must be submitted by August 31, 2020 (typically the deadline to apply is June 30th)
  • Eligibility for CEP can be based on enrollment from any time between April 1st – June 30, 2020 and 2019-20 direct certification data (typically only April 1st enrollment is used).

New York State Education Department (NYSED) is now accepting applications from schools and has posted the memo explaining the application submission process.

USDA /FNS also extended CEP notification and reporting and deadlines for NYSED for the 2020-21 school year. NYSED must notify schools of CEP eligibility by June 15, 2020 and must also submit the lists of CEP-eligible LEAs and schools by June 30, 2020.

Learn more about CEP here. For assistance applying or evaluating the financial viability of CEP, please contact Jessica.PinoGoodspeed@HungerSolutionsNY.org

CEP Requirement Annual Deadline Waiver Deadline
Data Used to Calculate ISP April 1 Anytime between April1 – June 30, 2020
LEA Notification April 15 June 15, 2020
State Agency Notification April 15 June 15, 2020
State Agency Publication May 1 June 30, 2020
Elect CEP for Following SY June 30 August 31, 2020

 

4/15/20 Update:
NYSED Memo, “60-Day Claim Deadline Waiver,” provides guidance on the USDA’s nationwide waiver of the 60-day reporting requirement for January and February 2020; the waiver applies to the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, and the Special Milk Program.

The waiver permits School Food Authorities (SFAs) an additional 30 calendar days from the original required date of submission to submit reimbursement claims.

  • January 2020 claims, originally due April 1, 2020, are due April 29, 2020 under the waiver submission deadline.
  • February 2020 claims, originally due April 29, 2020, are due May 30, 2020 under the waiver submission deadline.

This waiver is effective immediately. NYSED urges SFAs to utilize this waiver only if needed and to remain as vigilant with claim submission as possible.

 

4/2/20 Update:
NYS Education Department memo, “Child Nutrition Program Waivers Available During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency,” provides an online form for sponsors operating the Summer Food Service Program or the Seamless Summer Option of the National School Lunch Program to apply for temporary waivers to support access to nutritious meals while minimizing potential exposure to COVID-19. NYSED must review and approve waivers prior to Program operator implementation. Available waivers include:

  • Meal Pattern Waiver: Upon approval from NYSED, Program operators are waived from serving meals that meet specific meal pattern requirements as identified by the Program operator in its waiver application.
  • Afterschool Activity in the Snack Program Waiver: Upon approval from NYSED, this waives the requirements to serve afterschool snacks in a structured and supervised environment with an educational or enrichment activity.
  • Meal Service Time Waiver: Upon approval from NYSED, this waives the meal service time requirements established for both the Seamless Summer Option and the Summer Food Service Program.
  • Parent/Guardian Meal Pick-Up Waiver: Upon approval from NYSED, Program operators approved by NYSED for non-congregate meal distribution during COVID-19-related operations may distribute meals to a parent or guardian to take home to their children.
  • On-site Monitoring Requirements in the SFSP Waiver: Upon approval from NYSED, this waives the SFSP on-site monitoring requirements.
  • Area Eligibility Waiver: Upon approval from NYSED, this waiver allows SFSP and SSO sponsors to operate open sites in areas approved by NYSED based on economic hardship, but that are not in designated area eligible locations.

NYSED will provide information regarding any additional flexibilities as they are made available. Please contact your Child Nutrition Program Representative, or email CNCOVID@nysed.gov if you have questions or concerns.

4/1/20 Update:
New York State Waiver of Area Eligibility for Summer Meals
USDA Policy Memo
New York State Education Department’s (NYSED) waiver request to maintain children’s access to meals during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic was approved by USDA. Program sponsors should contact NYSED directly for further guidance.

Highlights from USDA Policy Memo:

  • This waives the restrictions on site area eligibility requirements in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and National School Lunch Program (NSLP) Seamless Summer Option (SSO).
  • This allows previously non-area eligible school food authorities and community organizations, in good standing, to serve meals to all children through SFSP sites and SSO during the emergency school closures associated with COVID-19.
  • Typically, open summer meal sites (where all children can eat) must be located in areas where at least 50 percent of NSLP participants are eligible for free or reduced-price meals. This waiver lifts this requirement.
  • USDA has directed NYSED to have a plan for ensuring that new meal sites are targeting benefits to children in need, for example, children who may be newly eligible for benefits due to the economic impacts of COVID-19.
  • This waiver is effective as of March 23, 2020 and remains in effect until June 30, 2020, or until expiration of the federally declared public health emergency, whichever is earlier. FNS recognizes that there may be a continued need for this waiver, and will carefully assess the situation on an ongoing basis.

 

3/30/20 Update:
Nationwide Waivers of Child Nutrition Monitoring
USDA Policy Memo
USDA/FNS has granted a nationwide waiver to eliminate the requirement to conduct on-site monitoring visits due to the exceptional circumstances of this public health emergency.

  • USDA has outlined specific requirements for sponsors and NYSED for each program waiver.
  • A waiver has been granted for each of the following Child Nutrition Programs: school meals (NSLP and SBP); CACFP; and SFSP. Each detailed memo can be found in the USDA Policy Memo.
  • These waivers are effective immediately, and remain in effect through June 30, 2020, or until expiration of the federally declared public health emergency, whichever is earlier

 

3/26/20 Update:
The following waivers have been issued:

Nationwide Waiver to Allow Parents and Guardians to Pick Up Meals for Children
USDA Guidance
Program operators in a State with an approved waiver allowing non-congregate meal distribution during COVID-19-related operations may distribute meals to a parent or guardian to take home to their children.

Highlights from USDA Guidance:

  • This waiver supports access to nutritious meals while minimizing potential exposure to COVID-19
  • It applies to the Child Nutrition Programs: National School Lunch Program (NSLP), including the Seamless Summer Option (SSO); School Breakfast Program (SBP); Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP); and Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).
  • States must develop a plan to maintain accountability and program integrity to:
    • Ensure that meals are distributed only to parents or guardians of eligible children,
    • Ensure duplicate meals are not distributed to any child.
  • This waiver is effective immediately and remains in effect until June 30, 2020, or until expiration of the federally declared public health emergency, whichever is earlier.

Waiver to Allow Meal Pattern Flexibility in the Child Nutrition Programs
USDA Guidance
This waiver provides nationwide approval for states to locally waive specific meal pattern requirements for breakfast, lunch, snack and supper as needed to support access to nutritious meals when certain foods are not available due to the COVID-19.

Highlights from USDA Guidance:

  • The waiver applies to all of the federal child nutrition programs: SBP, NSLP, SFSP, and CACFP.
  • While the waiver is available to all states, program sponsors must submit requests to their state agency for approval that demonstrate disruptions to the availability of food products.
  • USDA guidance states that NYSED should consider requests that are targeted and justified based upon disruptions to the availability of food products resulting from unprecedented impacts of COVID-19.
  • FNS expects and strongly encourages program operators to maintain and meet the nutrition standards for each Program to the greatest extent possible.
  • This waiver is effective immediately and remains in effect until April 30, 2020 or until expiration of the federally declared public health emergency, whichever is earlier. FNS is offering this flexibility in short term increments and will continue to reevaluate.

 

 

3/19/20 Update:
Schools and community partners can leverage federal resources and work together to ensure access to nutritious meals during school closures. The summer nutrition programs (the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) through the National School Lunch Program) are available to provide meals during school closures. Many schools are already using these programs to provide meals to students.

Resources have been made available to schools working to feed children who rely on school breakfast and lunch during school closures:

  • New guidance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture was released regarding the delivery of meals during school closures related to COVID-19. This Q&A will provide schools and community partners clarification during this unique situation.
  • Ensuring Access to the Child Nutrition Programs in the Event of School Closures is a fact sheet from Food Research & Action Center outlining model meal programs during school closures.
  • No Kid Hungry Emergency Relief Grants Available$1 million in emergency grants are available to support local efforts like home delivered meals, grab and go meals programs, school and community pantries, backpack programs, and other steps to help reach children and families who lose access to meals due to school closures related to COVID-19. If your school or organization needs funding to support these efforts, please submit your interest in receiving emergency grant funds.

 

3/13/20 Update:
NYS Education Department Guidance: “Operating Child Nutrition Programs when Schools are Closed due to COVID-19” encourages schools to prepare now to be able to continue to provide “critical support services” like school meals in the event of a school closure.
 Highlights include:

  • School districts and sponsors in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) may provide reimbursable meals to low-income children during school closures related to COVID-19.
  • To provide meals to children in areas affected by school closures, schools must complete a one page application and submit to CNCOVID@nysed.gov for review and approval, prior to commencing meal operations.
  • Upon Child Nutrition’s approval of their application, schools may provide up to two meals per day per child through the SFSP or the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) of the National School Lunch Program.
  • Meals may be provided and consumed at schools or other locations in the community or provided for consumption at home.
  • This memo also includes a Q&A to clarify guidance for operating child nutrition programs when schools are closed due to COVID-19.

We encourage any school with questions to please contact your Child Nutrition Program Representative directly, or email CNCOVID@nysed.gov if you have additional questions or concerns.

Summer Meals Programs —updated 4/20/21

4/20/21 Update:

USDA has issued a number of nationwide child nutrition waivers for the 2021-2022 school year. The waivers—effective July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022—allow:

For more information, see NYS Education Department’s memo. Additional guidance is forthcoming.

 

4/1/21 Update:

USDA issued a nationwide waiver allowing SFSP sponsors that operated successfully in FY2019 to operate as experienced sponsors in FY2021. For more information, see the USDA memo, and contact your NYSED Child Nutrition Representative.

 

3/9/21 Update:
USDA has extended nationwide summer meal program waivers through September 30, 2021. Read USDA’s press release and memo for more details. Additional guidance is forthcoming.

The waiver extensions allow:

 

10/13/20 Update:

USDA has extended nationwide waivers allowing continued Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option (SSO) operations through June 30, 2021. NYSED issued a memo outlining the waiver extensions, with additional guidance forthcoming.
The waiver extensions allow:

 

9/1/20 Update:
USDA has extended several summer meal program waivers through December 31, 2020, allowing schools and SFSP sponsors to continue serving free meals to all children during the start of the 2020-2021 school year. The nationwide waiver extensions allow:

 

8/24/20 Update:
USDA has extended several nationwide waivers to allow continued non-congregate meal distribution through the start of the school year, or September 30, 2020, whichever is earlier. Those waivers include:

  • Non-congregate feeding, allowing meals to be served to children outside of the normally-required group setting (e.g., grab-and-go or home-delivered meals).
  • Parent pickup, allowing distribution of meals to a parent or guardian to take home to their child(ren).
  • Area eligibility, allowing sponsors to operate sites in locations that do not meet area eligibility requirements.
  • Meal pattern flexibility, on a case-by-case basis.

 

6/10/20 Update:
USDA issued a nationwide waiver for area eligibility requirements through August 31, 2020, allowing summer meal sponsors to be approved to operate open sites in all areas, not just those where 50% or more of the children qualify for free or reduced-price school meals. This waiver applies to the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option.

USDA also extended nationwide waivers for:

 

5/15/20 Update:
USDA Press Release

USDA has extended several nationwide waivers to allow continued non-congregate meal distribution through August 31, 2020. These waivers include:

  • Non-Congregate Feeding, allowing meals to be served to children outside of the normally-required group setting, in alignment with social distancing.
  • Parent Pickup, allowing distribution of meals to a parent or guardian to take home to their children.
  • Meal Times, waiving requirements that meals be served within certain time frames; this flexibility allows for grab-and-go options, and for multiple days-worth of meals to be provided at once.

 

5/5/20 Update:
USDA and NYSED have extended 2020 application deadlines for Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) sponsors.

In New York, all SFSP sponsor applications are now due June 15, 2020, including new sponsor applications and annual renewals for returning sponsors. The previous deadlines were May 1st for new sponsors, and June 1st for returning sponsors. Read the USDA memo and visit NYSED’s SFSP webpage for more information.

As a reminder, sponsors can add or modify meal sites at any time, including throughout the summer, with NYSED approval.

Schools or organizations interested in becoming sponsors should contact NYSED Child Nutrition as soon as possible for training materials and further guidance: cnsfsp@nysed.gov

CACFP —updated 4/20/21

For CACFP questions, contact CACFP at 1-800-942-3858 or cacfp@health.ny.gov.

4/20/21 Update:

USDA has issued a number of nationwide child nutrition waivers for the 2021-2022 school year. The waivers—effective July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022—allow:

 

10/13/20 Update:
USDA Memo

USDA extended a nationwide waiver of area eligibility requirements for the CACFP At-Risk Afterschool Snack and Supper component through June 30, 2021. The waiver allows eligible schools, afterschool programs, and childcare centers to participate in CACFP’s At-Risk component regardless of location, waiving the usual requirement that programs be located in the enrollment area of a school where 50% of more of the students qualify for free or reduced-price school meals.

 

9/25/20 Update:
NYS DOH Memo

NYS Department of Health’s memo, “Remote Learning in Childcare Settings during Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19),” provides guidance on claiming meals for school-age children in child care centers and day care homes during the school day. Highlights include:

  • Through June 30, 2021, CACFP sponsors can claim meals served to school-age children who are attending school virtually in childcare settings.
  • Centers and day care home providers may claim two meals and one snack, or two snacks and one meal per child per day.
  • Income eligibility applications must be maintained for centers and Tier 1 day care home providers’ own children.
  • Meals brought from home or provided by the local school district cannot be claimed through CACFP.
  • Virtual or remote learning days are considered school days. On school days, At-Risk snack and/or supper may only be claimed if served after the school day has ended, in afterschool care. On non-school days (holidays, school vacation, snow days, and days when the school does not have in-person or remote learning scheduled), At-Risk meals can be claimed when served during the day.

 

9/18/20 Update:
USDA Waiver

USDA has issued a nationwide waiver for area eligibility requirements for the CACFP At-Risk Afterschool Snack and Supper component through December 31, 2020. The waiver allows eligible schools and afterschool programs to participate in the At-Risk component regardless of location, waiving the usual requirement that programs be located in the enrollment area of a school where 50% of more of the students qualify for free or reduced-price school meals.

 

6/25/20 Update:
USDA has extended several nationwide waivers to allow continued non-congregate meal distribution through June 30, 2021. Those waivers include:

 

5/15/20 Update:
USDA Press Release

USDA has extended several nationwide waivers to allow continued non-congregate meal distribution through August 31, 2020. These waivers include:

  • Non-Congregate Feeding, allowing meals to be served to children outside of the normally-required group setting, in alignment with social distancing.
  • Parent Pickup, allowing distribution of meals to a parent or guardian to take home to their children.
  • Meal Times, waiving requirements that meals be served within certain time frames; this flexibility allows for grab-and-go options, and for multiple days-worth of meals to be provided at once.

 

3/31/30 Update:
NYS Department of Health memo, “Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates for CACFP Sponsoring Organizations,” provides guidance on nationwide waivers related to meal pick-up, meal patterns, and monitoring. Highlights include:

  • Centers and family day care home providers who are approved for non-congregate feeding may distribute meals to a parent or guardian to take home to their enrolled child. Therefore, enrolled children do not have to be present when parents/guardians pick up meals or when meals are delivered during the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • If there is a shortage of a required food component, sponsoring organizations may request approval from CACFP to claim meals that do not include all the required components.
  • CACFP monitoring requirements have been decreased. Please read the memo for more information.

 

3/30/20 Update:
NYS Department of Health’s “Guidance for Non-Congregate Feeding During COVID-19” provides information for CACFP sponsors regarding non-congregate meal service. Highlights include:

  • USDA granted a nationwide waiver for non-congregate feeding, which allows CACFP sponsors to continue serving meals to children and adult participants individually. In order to be approved for non-congregate meal service, the sponsor must complete the CACFP-213 COVID-19 Application for Feeding Flexibility (included with the memo to sponsors).
  • Meals can be distributed at a site where households pick up the meals or delivered to children and/or adult participant’s homes, or a combination of both.
  • Sponsors may provide multiple meals and snacks at one time for up to a 3-day period.
  • All meals and snacks must meet CACFP meal pattern requirements.
  • Adult Day Care and Programs offering At-Risk Afterschool Meals are not required to offer enrichment activities at this time.

 

3/19/20 Update:
NYS Department of Health guidance, “Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance for CACFP Sponsoring Organizations,” explains current flexibilities, waivers submitted to USDA for approval, and other resources available to CACFP providers. Highlights include:

  • NYS CACFP has submitted several waivers to USDA, and will notify sponsoring organizations if they are approved. Please read the linked memo for additional information.
  • When a school is closed, the school may establish an emergency program through the Child Nutrition Programs to provide food to children who normally attend their school; childcare centers or homes can also receive meals from these schools or other sites at no cost.

Resources to use in your community:

Pandemic EBT

  • Information about Pandemic EBT (P-EBT)

SNAP Outreach for Schools Toolkit

  • Resources to use on your website, social media, and other communications to inform families about SNAP and other available help.

WIC Outreach for Community Partners

Through December, WIC moms and kids get $24-47/month to buy fruits and veggies.

As a statewide organization dedicated to alleviating hunger, our mission is more important than ever. We will continue to keep you updated on developments.

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