Unclear back-to-school plans add uncertainty for meal providers

School food directors across the country are preparing for an uncertain year as their trade association calls for the Agriculture Department to consider giving all schools the option to provide free meals to all students.

The School Nutrition Association, citing double-digit unemployment rates due to the COVID-19 pandemic, sent a letter asking the USDA to extend 10 national waivers that eased rules such as requiring students to sit down and eat their meals in a central location. 

The association also wants the USDA to lift a rule for the 2020-2021 school year that says open sites for meals must be in communities where at

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