Tips for Expanding Nutrition Programs
Implement the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP): CEP season is just around the corner! Interested before June 30th, interested schools must decide to adopt CEP, a powerful tool for high-poverty schools that provides breakfast and lunch to all participating students at no charge. CEP reduces administrative paperwork for schools so they can focus on providing healthy meals that help students learn and thrive! CEP also, increases school meal participation by removing stigma and maximizes federal reimbursements. Community eligibility is a win for everyone—administrators, students, families, and school nutrition staff!
Increase Participation in Your School Breakfast Program (SBP): The SBP makes it possible for all school children in Michigan to receive a nutritious breakfast every school day. Yet, many Michigan students are not participating in the School Breakfast Program. Implement best practices to ensure all students have access to a nutritious morning meal, including
Implement the Afterschool Meal Program: The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) provides federal funding to afterschool programs operating in low-income areas to serve meals and snacks to children after school, on weekends and during school holidays. Schools are a natural fit for operating the Afterschool Meal Program since they have experience with the child nutrition programs and often have a ready audience that participates in afterschool programs.
Implement the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP): Almost 1.5 million Michigan children received free and reduced price school meals through the School Breakfast and National School Lunch Programs in 2018. During the summer while school is out, many of these children go without adequate nutrition. The federally funded SFSP allows programs to provide free summer meals to children that may otherwise go hungry. Now is the time to begin planning for next summer! Contact CCJ if you would like more information on launching a summer meal program in your community.
Make Changes to Meet (and Exceed) the Break-Even Point: To help ensure your program's long term financial viability, consider following some of these tips, such as changing your program's menu planning techniques, working to require less deliveries, utilizing USDA commodities to the fullest extent, and monitoring inventory daily.
Reduce School Meal Debt: The majority of school districts have unpaid school meal debt. To prevent debt accrual, schools should ensure that students who qualify for free or reduced-price meals are receiving meals at the appropriate rate by making multiple attempts to engage households in applying for school meals. Further, schools that have high percentages of low-income students, should consider serving free meals though the Community Eligibility Provision or Provision 2. Find More strategies to reduce school meal debt, here.
If you have any questions, please contact Jessica Flint, CCJ's health advocate, by email at email@example.com or by phone at (810) 238-8053.