FNS Responds to COVID-19

The American Rescue Plan provides $12.5 billion to reduce food insecurity caused by the pandemic.

The American Rescue Plan provides $12.5 billion to reduce food insecurity caused by the pandemic.

Spotlights

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COVID-19 Resources for Individuals and Families

In addition to our work to ensure that children and low-income Americans maintain access to food, FNS nutrition education programs have consumer resources to help individuals and families during this exceptional time.

COVID-19 Program Flexibilities and Adjustments


USDA is granting states significant program flexibilities and contingencies to best serve program participants across our 15 nutrition programs. Below are summaries of actions taken to ease program operations and protect the health of participants.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Learn more about SNAP
Key Flexibilities

Emergency Allotments: States may issue benefits to SNAP households that normally receive less than the maximum benefit.

Pandemic EBT: FNS is allowing states to provide benefits to children who normally receive free or reduced-price school meals.

SNAP Online Purchasing: FNS rapidly expanded SNAP online purchasing to support social distancing.

Additional State flexibilities: The Continuing Appropriations Act 2021 allows states to adopt certain options without FNS action.

 see all snap waivers by state see all snap waivers

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Key Flexibilities

Nationwide Meal Times Waiver: FNS is letting meals be served to kids outside traditional times to maximize flexibility for meal pick-up, through the 2020-2021 school year.

Nationwide Non-congregate Feeding Waiver: FNS is allowing meals to be served in non-group settings to support social distancing, through the 2020-2021 school year.

Nationwide Parent/Guardian Meal Pick-Up Waiver: FNS is allowing parents/guardians to pick-up meals and bring them home to their children, through the 2020-2021 school year.

view all child nutrition waivers by state view all child nutrition waivers

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Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)

Learn more about WIC
Key Flexibilities

Remote Benefit Issuance Waivers: FNS is allowing WIC agencies to issue benefits remotely so participants don’t have to pick up their WIC benefits in person.

Physical Presence Waivers: FNS is allowing participants to enroll or re-enroll in WIC without visiting a clinic in person and postpone certain medical tests.

Extensions of Approved Waivers - FNS is extending waiver approvals through September 30, 2020 for all WIC state agencies that choose to continue operations under their approved waivers

view all wic waivers by state view wic waivers
view waivers by tribal nations

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Key Flexibilities

Additional Funding for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP): FNS is providing up to $850 million in additional funding for states to distribute to food banks and food pantries. Learn more about USDA support for food banks.

Disaster Household Distribution: FNS is approving state and local agency requests to provide boxes of foods directly to households in affected areas.

Supporting Participants in the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR): FNS is providing an additional $100 million for COVID-19 response, increasing the monthly food package and providing administrative support.

view all usda foods waivers by state view all usda foods waivers
view all waivers by Tribal Nations

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