During the public health emergency due to COVID-19, FNS waives, for all states, requirements that limit the use of Offer versus Serve to school food authorities and require sponsors to apply OVS under the rules followed for the National School Lunch Program.
Nationwide Waiver to Allow Offer Versus Serve Flexibility for Senior High Schools in the NSLP for SY 2020–21
Pursuant to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and based on the exceptional circumstances of this public health emergency, FNS is establishing a nationwide waiver to support access to nutritious meals while minimizing potential exposure to the novel coronavirus (COVID–19) for school year 2020-21. This waiver applies to the National School Lunch Program.
Offer versus Serve is a provision in the NSLP and School Breakfast Program that allows students to decline some of the food offered. The goals of OVS are to reduce food waste in the school meals programs while permitting students to decline foods they do not intend to eat.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published the final rule, Nutrition Labeling of Standard Menu Items in Restaurants and Similar Retail Food Establishments in the Federal Register (79 FR 71155) on Dec. 1, 2014.