The state of Maine has accepted 12 waiver extensions from the U.S. Department of Agriculture allowing for continued flexibilities in the federal Summer Food Service Program/Seamless Summer Option programs through the 2020-21 school year. Originally set to expire Dec. 31, the waiver extensions will allow schools and other local program operators to continue to leverage the federal food service programs to provide no cost meals options to all children through June 30, 2021.

The waiver extensions allow school nutrition teams across the state to continue partnering with community organizations, to prepare and package food, set up food delivery service with school transportation teams, and create community pick-up locations (among many other methods) to ensure families have safe options for receiving food during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are really pleased that USDA continues to extend these necessary waivers to assist school nutrition programs across Maine with the funding and options they need to feed Maine kids during the pandemic,” said Walter Beesley, Maine Department of Education director of child nutrition. “We continue to work closely with district and school leaders to ensure they have the resources and state-level support needed to continue their work.”