Nutrition: Guidance for providing student meals in the event of school disruption:

Based on current regulations, in order to receive Federal reimbursement for student meals consumed off site:  Meals are provided under the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) guidelines and requirements.  Schools and SAUs may partner to access SFSP sites for more than one district (meals are provided for free for all children who need them – regardless of address or income level).
If the school or alternate site being considered was approved and utilized last summer as a SFSP meal site, the site can be utilized as a meal site during unanticipated school closures with minimal filing requirements to claim Federal meal reimbursement.  
If the school or site being considered  was not utilized during the previous summer, it needs to meet the eligibility guidelines of the SFSP sponsor/site regulations?  The site must be located in a geographic area with at least 50% of the students in the closest school qualifying for free and reduced lunch. The meals are, and should be, available to all students in the SAU or with a partner SAU.
These meals can be consumed offsite, thanks to a waiver granted by USDA. 
Once a summer site opens, any child can get a meal at no cost.  They do not need any identification, provide a name or even what school they go to.  Any school 50% or greater can be a site, and regional sharing among SAU’s could be helpful.  We will work with districts to determine if an area could be made eligible. 
Here are two eligibility maps:   

  1. Schools which operate a Child and Adult Care (CACFP) at risk program may operate and provide reimbursable meals with state agency approval.  These sites are required to meet all the eligibility requirements including education enrichment and meal consumption on site.  This method does provide more flexibility on meal offerings. CACFP sites would qualify as SFSP programs, and we will work with these providers to be granted the designation and flexibility of the SFSP, if needed.  

Additional information is available here: 
USDA Memo re:  Meal Service During Unanticipated School Closures 
USDA Foods Program Disaster Manual 
We are also seeking funding to mitigate the financial impact on those districts who do not currently qualify for the current options for reimbursement from USDA, but who want to ensure continuity of food availability for all students.  
For information regarding state agency approval, free and reduced counts, and other information, contact Walter Beesley:  Office: 207-624-6842 Cell: 207-592-1059   
Email:  Walter.beesley@maine.gov