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Child Nutrition News


Pandemic-EBT Updates & Resources

USDA has approved NYS OTDA’s plan to issue Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) benefits for summer 2021. While details are forthcoming, please note that families who are newly eligible for free or reduced-price school meals have until Friday, September 3, 2021 to submit a free or reduced-price school meal application to their school to potentially qualify for summer 2021 P-EBT benefits. Children who received P-EBT previously, who receive SNAP, or who were qualified for P-EBT as of June 2021 do not need to submit a school meal application to qualify for the summer benefits. Children who are newly entering kindergarten or pre-K in the 21-22 school year do not qualify for school-age summer 2021 benefits.

However, they may qualify for benefits under New York's newly approved plan for P-EBT for children under age 6 who receive SNAP. These benefits cover the time period October 2020 through June 2021 and are meant to provide additional supplemental food benefits to eligible young children on SNAP. The timing of benefit issuance will be announced later this year. For updates as more information becomes available, visit our P-EBT webpage and the NYS P-EBT FAQ.

P-EBT benefits are currently being issued to eligible school-age children for the 2020-2021 school year. Our P-EBT communications toolkit can help schools and community organizations share information with families. The toolkit includes a flyer, social media posts, email/newsletter language, and key talking points. For additional information, visit our P-EBT webpage and the NYS P-EBT FAQ.


Thank You, Summer Meals Sponsors and Sites!

As we enter the last full week of the summer break, we want to recognize the extraordinary work of over 550 sponsors and thousands of sites across New York that served free, healthy meals for kids this summer. Nourishing kids during the summer break provides a critical support to reduce food insecurity, mitigate learning loss, and ensure kids are healthy and ready to learn when they return to school. We are grateful for your work this summer, and look forward to supporting your efforts during the school year and as you plan for summer 2022.

Already thinking about getting involved with summer meals next year? Visit to learn how.

Girl Eating Watermelon

Sign On by 9/8: Urge USDA to Expand Waivers for Non-School Sponsors

Schools have played a critical role in ensuring access to meals since March 2020, but they can’t—and shouldn’t—do it alone. Non-school summer food sponsors have been instrumental in supporting schools’ meal service efforts and stepping in to fill gaps where schools were closed or did not have the capacity to reach and serve all children, but they are not able to do that under the current waiver options.

Sign on by 5 pm Wednesday, September 8, 2021 to urge USDA to allow non-school sponsors to operate the Summer Food Service Program and work in partnership with schools to ensure access to meals during the 21-22 school year. 
Note: This letter is intended for national, state, and local organizations. This is not intended for individuals.


Offering Afterschool Meals in the 21-22 School Year

Afterschool enrichment programs will continue to play a vital role in academic recovery this school year. To ensure kids are ready to learn and engage, eligible programs and schools can offer free, healthy afterschool meals and snacks through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). CACFP’s At-Risk Afterschool Snack/Supper component provides reimbursement funding—currently $3.66 per meal or $1.00 per snack—for healthy food served to kids and teens in enrichment programs after school, on weekends, and/or during school holidays throughout the regular school year.

Key things to know:

  • During the 2021-2022 school year, programs in all areas of the state are able to qualify. Typically, CACFP At-Risk Afterschool Snack/Supper is only available to programs within the enrollment area of a school where 50% or more of the students qualify for free or reduced-price meals. This area eligibility requirement is waived through June 30, 2022.
  • To qualify, programs must offer organized, supervised, regularly scheduled enrichment activities. Examples include homework help, drama club, arts and crafts, 21st Century Community Learning Center programs, Empire State After School Programs, or Advantage After School Programs. For the 2021-2022 school year, activities may be virtual or take-home if needed and approved.
  • Programs can apply for CACFP at any time of year, even after the start of the school year, or when enrichment programs are already underway.
  • Visit or email for more information or one-on-one assistance.
  • To apply, contact the New York State Department of Health: Call (518) 402-7400 or email using the subject line “Outreach Coordinator”

Help Spread the Word: All CACFP Day Care Homes Can Receive Tier I Rates Through June 2022

Baby eating veggies

The Food Research and Action Center released a communications toolkit to help spread the word about a new waiver allowing all CACFP-participating day care homes to claim meals and snacks at Tier I reimbursement rates—the highest rates available for day care homes—regardless of the provider’s location. Tier I rates are ordinarily available only to providers who live in a low-income area, serve low-income children, or live in a household that meets income guidelines; New York has elected a nationwide waiver that extends the higher rates to all participating day care home providers through June 30, 2022. The waiver provides critical support to providers, and helps ensure children in care receive the healthy food they need to learn and grow.

Click here for the toolkit, which includes sample social media posts and graphics, email templates, and more. Learn more about CACFP:


In Case You Missed It: Back-to-School Nutrition Webinar

Click here to view the recording from our Back-to-School Nutrition webinar in partnership with No Kid Hungry New York. We discussed strategies for feeding children in school during COVID-19, getting creative with meal service, and reaching as many kids as possible. Other topics included building buy-in in school meal programs, improving financial resiliency, and planning for future school years.

Hunger Solutions New York
14 Computer Drive East | Albany, New York 12205
518-436-8757 |

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