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CACFP Flexibilities During COVID-19 Supply Chain Disruptions




This memorandum outlines the existing flexibilities available to all Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) operators experiencing supply chain disruptions related to the COVID-19 pandemic and encourages State agency and sponsoring organization discretion when monitoring for compliance with meal pattern requirements. 

CACFP operators may also utilize emergency procurement flexibilities a2 CFR 200.320which allow a noncompetitive procurement method when a “public exigency or emergency” prevents competitive procurement. Under emergency conditions, regulations at 7 CFR 226.20(e) allow state agencies to approve meal service without milk during a temporary emergency period and to approve meal service without milk if operators are unable to obtain milk on a continuing basis, provided an equivalent amount of canned, whole dry or fat-free dry milk is used in the preparation of the components of the meal. 

Flexibilities available at the discretion of State agencies and sponsoring organizations include Child Nutrition Response #91 Nationwide Waiver to Allow Specific Meal Pattern Flexibility in the Child and Adult Care Food Program for School Year 2021-2022. 

State agencies and sponsoring organizations should exercise discretion when determining whether CACFP operators should be found seriously deficient when meals fall short of meeting the meal pattern requirements during Federal fiscal year 2022 due to COVID-19- related supply chain disruptions.  Under such circumstances, FNS strongly encourages State agencies and sponsoring organizations to work with institutions and facilities, respectively, who are not meeting the meal pattern requirements to identify solutions on a case-by-case basis and continue to prioritize technical assistance. State agencies are advised to also prioritize technical assistance when reviewing how sponsoring organizations handled meal pattern deficiencies that resulted from severe food shortages.  

For full guidance on flexibilities available, read the full text HERE. 

CACFP 02-2022