COVID-19 continues to affect school districts across Nebraska.
As school meal service regulations change at the national level, each state and district is making choices about how to best ensure hungry students are receiving meals.
Please review your district website and communications to learn about how your district is maintaining nutrition services for students.
Grant opportunities can be available to support school nutrition during the pandemic.
Grant Opportunities for Nebraska Districts during COVID-19
No Kid Hungry is offering grants to support school nutrition programs adapting to changing needs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding can support supplies and equipment, staff, transportation costs, PPE and touch-less POS equipment, non-reimbursable food costs, outreach, and other expenses. Grants are being reviewed on a rolling basis and can range from $5,000 – $50,000. More details are on Appleseed’s blog.
Nebraska Appleseed recently published a report entitled Federal COVID-19 Child Nutrition Waiver Implementation: Best Practices from Four States.
It looks at 1) federal changes that have allowed schools to continue feeding students during COVID-19, 2) implementation methods from KS, IA, CO, and NE, and 3) policy recommendations to support more kids eating at school.
Empty classrooms should not mean empty stomachs
What is the Summer Food Service Program?
The SFSP supports healthy eating for kids during the summer. The program offers all kids age one to 18 a free meal in a high needs location that is supervised, safe, and welcoming. Organizations, camps, agencies, school districts, or other groups can be sponsors through the SFSP, serving meals at service sites and receiving federal reimbursement. This program feeds thousands of children across Nebraska who may be without consistent meals during the summer.
Resources for families and kids
- During summer, Nebraska Appleeed’s national partner No Kid Hungry hosts a text line to help families find summer meals: Text “FOOD” or “COMIDA” to 877-877 to get referred to the 3 closest meal sites open near you.
- The USDA’s Meals 4 Kids map shares SFSP site information from across the US during summer.
Resources for Current SFSP Sponsors
- Nebraska’s Go Big Breakfast Coalition is keeping track of school nutrition grant opportunities, potentially including those for SFSP, here.
- NDE Summer Equipment Grants (up to $15,000!) The Nebraska Department of Education accepts applications for the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) Expansion Grants each year from mid-January to the end of February. This is an excellent opportunity to expand your organization’s reach and engage more participants. The grant is available annually and you can apply each year!
Nebraska Appleseed surveyed and interviewed Nebraska sponsors and analyzed state data to create a Nebraska SFSP Best Practice Toolkit.
- Download the toolkit now.
- Watch webinars from NDE, Appleseed, and Nebraska SFSP sponsors from 2020 on “Activities on site and building community partnerships” and “menu planning and advertising”.
- Sponsors can build participation through outreach and communications including flyers, social media posts, press releases, and more. Use templates from this digital SFSP Sponsor Outreach Toolkit to spread the word about your site.
Resources for Potential SFSP Sponsors
Becoming an SFSP sponsor can support an organization’s mission and bottom line. Find resources for potential Nebraska SFSP sponsors below. When you’re ready to learn more or apply, visit NDE’s SFSP webpage and reach out.
For additional resources or to learn more, please contact Eric Savaiano at email@example.com or 402-438-8853 ext. 126.
Related Issue Areas
Click below to learn more about Nebraska Appleseed’s nutrition work