Excessive Heat Waiver Request for SFSP 2023

Friday, April 28, 2023 | 01:24pm


Waiver for the National School Lunch Program Verification

Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements

1.     State agency submitting waiver request and responsible State agency staff contact information:

Tennessee Department of Human Services

Allette Vayda- Director of Operations

Child Care and Community Services- Food Programs- CACFP & SFSP

James K. Polk Building, 15th Floor

505 Deaderick Street, Nashville, TN 37243

p. 615-313-3769


2.     Region: 

Southeast Region 

3.     Eligible service providers participating in waiver and affirmation that they are in good standing: 

Any Tennessee Department of Human Services (TN DHS) approved sponsor who meets all the following requirements:

  • In good standing; and
  • Approved by TN DHS to operate a Summer Food Service Program

4.     Description of the challenge the State agency is seeking to solve, the goal of the waiver to improve services under the Program, and the expected outcomes if the waiver is granted. [Section 12(l)(2)(A)(iii) and 12(l)(2)(A)(iv) of the NSLA]: 

The SFSP program serves meals during the summer months when school is not in session. Many SFSP site locations operate outdoor meal services without temperature controlled alternative locations. TN DHS is requesting that Sponsors that operate meal service at these outdoor sites be allowed to provide non-congregate meal service on days when the area experiences excessive heat as defined by the National Weather Service as a Heat Advisory or Excessive Heat Warning.

Challenges Without the Waiver 

  • Without this waiver, Sponsors will have to require that children remain at outdoor sites to consume meals during times of excessive heat. This practice could put the health and safety of both the children and the site operators at risk.
  • Decreased program participation as children are unable to receive meals during times of excessive heat.
  • Food insecurity will continue to be an issue for children as they are unable to receive the nutritional support provided at outdoor SFSP sites.

Goal of Waiver to Improve Services

  • The goal of this waiver is to allow SFSP Sponsors to safely serve meals at outdoor sties to children during times when the area experiences excessive heat.

Expected Outcome of Waiver

  • Sponsors will be able to continue serving communities at outdoor sites during times of excessive heat.
  • More children will receive meals throughout the summer.


5.     Specific Program requirements to be waived (include statutory and regulatory citations). [Section 12(l)(2)(A)(i) of the NSLA]: 

Non-Congregate Meal Service during Summer 2022 [42 U.S.C. 1753(b)(1)(A), 42 U.S.C. 1761(a)(1)(D), and 7 CFR 225.6(e)(15)]

6.     Detailed description of alternative procedures and anticipated impact on Program operations, including technology, State systems, and monitoring:   

If approved, there are no significant impacts on technology, state systems, or monitoring. 

7.     Description of any steps the State has taken to address regulatory barriers at the State level. [Section 12(l)(2)(A)(ii) of the NSLA]:   

There are currently no state level regulatory barriers related to this specific issue.   

8.     Anticipated challenges State or eligible service providers may face with the waiver implementation:   

TN DHS does not anticipate that the establishment of this statewide waiver will pose any challenges at the state or sponsor level.  

9.     Description of how the waiver will not increase the overall cost of the Program to the Federal Government. If there are anticipated increases, confirm that the costs will be paid from non-Federal funds. [Section 12(l)(1)(A)(iii) of the NSLA]:   

The waiver will not increase the overall cost of the program to the Federal Government.

10.  Anticipated waiver implementation date and time period:   

The anticipated statewide implementation start date is upon approval from USDA and is to remain in effect through SFSP 2023.  

11.  Proposed monitoring and review procedures: 

Monitoring of sponsors performance under the requested waivers will follow administrative review regulations for each program. This practice will be consistent with 7 CFR 225 review requirements.    

12.  Proposed reporting requirements (include type of data and due date(s) to FNS):   

No later than October 30, 2023, TN DHS will report to USDA the number of sponsors that used this waiver.   

13.  Link to or a copy of the public notice informing the public about the proposed waiver [Section 12(l)(1)(A)(ii) of the NSLA]: 

14.  Signature and title of requesting official: 

Allette Vayda

Title: Director of Operations- Food Programs

Requesting official’s email address for transmission of response: Allette.Vayda@tn.gov