While the pandemic is ongoing, officials at the USDA says they've already learned a lot when it comes to the school lunch program, and how things can be run better and more efficiently. Food and Nutrition Program analyst, Liz Hermsen, pointed out that key waivers for school meals programs have been extended through the next school year.

"FNS is giving schools they flexibility they need to tailor their food service operations based on multiple conditions," she noted during a recent webinar. "These nationwide waivers apply to the national school lunch program, school breakfast program, and child and adult care food program; and are in effect through June 30th 2021."

Hermsen added the aim is to help schools as they reopen with many different learning models.

"These nationwide waivers provide flexibility to schools that plan to bring students back in the fall as well as those leveraging distance learning or hybrid learning scenario. They also provide flexibility for childcare providers to serve meals to children in their care."

The waivers cover issues like non-congregant feeding and meal service times.

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