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Contact: Diane Pratt-Heavner

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SNA Outlines Emergency Feeding Options to Prepare for Coronavirus School Closures

2020-03-05

ARLINGTON, VA – In a letter sent today to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, the School Nutrition Association (SNA) outlined proactive measures to maintain student access to healthy meals in the event of widespread coronavirus-related school closures.

“Nearly 22 million students each day depend on a free or reduced price school lunch as a key source of their daily nutrition,” the letter reads. “SNA members, who work on the frontlines in school cafeterias nationwide, are keenly aware that many of these children lack access to adequate nutrition when school is out of session.”

SNA suggests a variety of measures to increase options for school districts equipped to safely offer children meals during emergency school closures. Suggestions provided to USDA are designed to permit schools to offer grab and go meals either at school or community sites. Specific requests include expanded eligibility for the Summer Food Service Program, which can be utilized for emergency feeding during unanticipated school closures, and eliminating requirements that meals be consumed on site. In addition to combating food insecurity, the opportunity to minimize food waste and spoilage in school cafeterias and resulting financial losses for school meal programs is cited by SNA.

On Monday, during SNA’s 48th annual  Legislative Action Conference, Secretary Perdue and a USDA panel will address school nutrition professionals on a wide range of child nutrition topics. As part of LAC’s “Charge to the Hill,” attendees will meet with their Congressional representatives on Tuesday to discuss SNA’s 2020 Position Paper, which highlights the need to expand access to school meals. 

Media wishing to attend LAC must contact Diane Pratt-Heavner at media@schoolnutrition.org in advance to be registered. Follow the discussion at #LAC2020.

About School Nutrition Association:
The School Nutrition Association (SNA) is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 55,000 school nutrition professionals across the country. Founded in 1946, SNA and its members are dedicated to making healthy school meals and nutrition education available to all students.  For more information on school meals, visit www.SchoolNutrition.org/SchoolMeals

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