CACFP COVID-19 Information
In response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved state-specific requests intended to provide temporary flexibilities to certain regulatory requirements of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) is assisting program operators of the CACFP by posting policy guidance and waivers, and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has approved several waivers that offered additional flexibilities to support safe and efficient meal service in California. These waivers are effective July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023. However, the flexibilities under these waivers should only be implemented when meal service is limited by the COVID-19 pandemic. The approved waivers are:
Since the USDA requires that the above waivers be used only to the extent needed until in-person congregate meals and snacks are able to be resumed safely, these waivers will be referred to as “limited use waivers” and program operators must complete the waiver survey. Program operators are encouraged to periodically reevaluate their environment and use the flexibilities in these limited use waivers only as long as needed.
The application must be completed and submitted online in order to adopt the flexibilities allowed under these waivers. The application will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. To participate in the waivers, please complete all applicable sections of the 2022-23 Child and Adult Care Food Program Waivers Application.
If you require assistance with completing this application, please contact your agency’s assigned CACFP Specialist. If you have technical difficulties, please contact RADDSurveyHelp@dss.ca.gov.
If you use the flexibilities allowed by any waivers in your operations, you must have a CACFP Integrity Plan. A CACFP Integrity Plan Guide is available in the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS) Download Forms.
Section 2202(a) of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the FFCRA) (P.L. 116-127), as extended by the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act P.L. 116-159), allowed the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to issue nationwide waivers related to pandemic conditions. This nationwide waiver authority, as authorized by the FFCRA, expired on June 30, 2022. The expiration of this waiver authority removed the ability for the USDA to approve area eligibility waivers.
FNS has provided some additional flexibilities for area eligibility in their memo Area Eligibility for Summer 2022 and School Year 2022-2023.
Other COVID-19 Resources
For CACFP Meal Pattern assistance, contact CACFPMealPatterns@dss.ca.gov.
For CACFP Procurement assistance, contact ProcurementCACFP@dss.ca.gov.
For CACFP Administrative Review assistance, please contact your assigned nutrition consultant, located in Download Forms CACFP 01 or on the Field Services Contact List.
For general CACFP questions, contact CACFPInfo@dss.ca.gov or reach out to your assigned program analyst, located in Download Forms CACFP 01 or Find Your CACFP Specialist.