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Nationwide Waiver to Allow Parents and Guardians to Pick Up Meals for Children for School Year 2021-2022



Why It Matters 

This waiver supports access to nutritious meals while minimizing exposure to the novel coronavirus.  FNS recognizes that in this public health emergency, requiring children to come to the meal site to pick up meals may not be practical.  Providing flexibility will help local operators safely distribute meals to all children, including children who may be learning virtually in the upcoming school year. 


Program operators in a State with an approved waiver allowing non-congregate meal distribution during COVID-19 operations may distribute meals to a parent or guardian to take home to their children. This waiver is effective July 1, 2021, and remains in effect until June 30, 2022.   

Please note, that while this waiver is available through June 30, 2022, flexibilities under the waiver should be implemented by program operators until such a time when great levels of congregation in school or child care settings are safe and healthy to pursue.  

State agencies opting to use these flexibilities must have a plan for ensuring that local operators are able to maintain accountability and program integrity. This includes putting in place processes that ensure meals are distributed only to parents or guardians of eligible children and that duplicate meals are not distributed to the same child.  States should inform local operators of these flexibilities as quickly as possible.  


Meal Pick Up Waiver
Q. May and adult or guardian pick up meals for other children?
A. Please check with your State Agency. Your state may have flexibilities in place.