Schoolchildren eating lunch (stock)

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) announced it will request a federal waiver of statutory and regulatory requirements in the Child Nutrition Programs, in accordance with federal guidance.

MDE said it is requesting the waiver on behalf of all Child Nutrition Program sponsors determined to be in good standing in the state of Michigan.

“The need for nutritious meals does not take a break during a public health emergency such as COVID-19,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice. “In fact, the need for healthy meals heightens due to factors beyond the control of Michigan families. Allowance of additional sites will ensure that children who receive meals from these programs have access to the nutrition that is needed.”

MDE said it is seeking to request a statewide waiver to allow all participating Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) sponsoring organizations, as well as current National School Lunch Program (NSLP) sponsors, the option to serve and receive reimbursement for open meal sites that do not meet the 50 percent or more free or reduced-priced eligibility requirement during times of unanticipated school closures.

According to MDE, Child Nutrition Program sponsors do not need to request exceptions from the department.

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