[kids-lib] Monday March 18th Summer Food Service Extension
greta.bergquist at state.or.us
Mon May 18 12:17:14 PDT 2020
Happy Monday! I hope you are starting the week well. On Friday, the USDA sent an update about summer food service. During the public health emergency, meals have been distributed to children under the USDA Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) (with schools closed and students unable to access meals through the National School Lunch Program). The USDA allowed states several waivers of specific SFSP rules through June 30. These waivers have now been extended through August 31. Libraries that serve as SFSP sites may distribute meals grab-and-go style this summer. Parents may pick up meals for their children. Several days' or a week's worth of meals may be picked up at once.
If your library is a Summer Food Service site, please check in with your sponsor. (Usually your school district.) If you don't currently serve as a Summer Food site, please find out if your library is eligible (i.e. located in an area with 50% or more students eligible for free or reduced price school meals) and reach out to Jessica Visinsky at the Oregon Dept of Ed Child Nutrition Services to find out how you can participate - I've cc'd her here. With the pandemic's economic impact, the need is, of course, even greater than ever. Libraries and other sites in eligible areas can provide meals to ALL children regardless of family economic status. Libraries do not have to prepare food; that is the responsibility of the vendor. Libraries generally do not have to negotiate with the vendor; that is the responsibility of the local SFSP sponsor. Libraries can simply serve as a pick-up site, and with their visibility and accessibility in the community, they will be awesome pick-up sites.
Libraries can learn more by visiting the CSLP's Libraries and Summer Food guide: https://www.cslpreads.org/libraries-and-summer-food/
To determine SFSP eligibility: https://www.fns.usda.gov/areaeligibility
Oregon's Summer Food Service Contact: ODE Child Nutrition: https://www.oregon.gov/ode/students-and-family/childnutrition/Pages/default.aspx
The following press release is also available here:
USDA Extends Flexibilities, Paves the Way for Meals for Kids to Continue through Summer
Release & Contact Info
Release No. 0262.20
Contact: USDA Press
Email: press at oc.usda.gov<mailto:press at oc.usda.gov>
(Washington, D.C., May 15, 2020) - U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced the extension of three nationwide waivers, giving child nutrition program operators the flexibility they need to continue to feed children while promoting social distancing and keeping families safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"USDA has been extremely aggressive in expanding flexibilities to ensure Americans who have been impacted by the coronavirus continue to receive the food they need for themselves and their families," said Secretary Perdue. "As our nation reopens and people return to work, we want to continue to be flexible since there is not a one size fits all approach to feeding kids. Extending these waivers throughout the summer ensures local operators can make plans that best suit their communities and keep children fed."
Throughout the pandemic, schools and local program sponsors have used flexibilities provided by USDA to find creative ways to feed kids<https://www.fns.usda.gov/meals4kids>, such as setting up drive-thru pick-ups and delivering meals on bus routes. With the extension of these waivers, these innovative models can continue, without interruption, while state and local social distancing orders remain in place.
Since March, USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has made maximum use of existing program flexibilities and new authorities granted by Congress to make it as easy as possible for children to receive food through the department's nutrition assistance programs during the national health emergency. Today's announcement extends three key flexibilities that will allow current operations to continue without disruption and ensure states and program operators have time to plan for continued operations throughout the summer.
Today, FNS is extending the following waivers nationwide through August 31, 2020:
* Non-Congregate Feeding: FNS is allowing meals to be served to children outside of the normally-required group setting to support social distancing.
* Parent Pickup: FNS is allowing parents and/or guardians to pick up meals and bring them home to their children.
* Meal Times: FNS is waiving requirements that meals be served at certain standard times to allow for grab-n-go options. This also allows for multiple days-worth of meals to be provided at once.
In addition to granting significant program flexibilities through both nationwide and individual state waivers, FNS is rapidly approving states for Pandemic-EBT<https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/state-guidance-coronavirus-pandemic-ebt-pebt>, which provides food-purchasing benefits, equal to the value of school meals, to households with children who would otherwise be receiving free or reduced-price meals at school. FNS has approved 26 plans and continues to review new plans as they are submitted.
These actions and more are part of FNS's critical response to the COVID-19 outbreak. To learn more, visit www.fns.usda.gov/coronavirus<https://www.fns.usda.gov/disaster/pandemic/covid-19> and follow FNS on Twitter at @USDANutrition<https://twitter.com/usdanutrition>
USDA's Food and Nutrition Service administers 15 nutrition assistance programs<https://www.fns.usda.gov/> that leverage American's agricultural abundance to ensure children and low-income individuals and families have nutritious food to eat. FNS also co-develops the Dietary Guidelines for Americans<https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov>, which provide science-based nutrition recommendations and serve as the cornerstone of federal nutrition policy.
Thanks so much for all you are doing to get ready to serve kids this summer in a drastically different environment!
Youth Services Consultant
503-378-2528 | www.oregon.gov/library<https://www.oregon.gov/library>
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Coronavirus Info: https://libguides.osl.state.or.us/coronavirus
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