USDA provides summer meal program in Escambia County
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 10, 2020
The USDA has implemented a summer meal program within the area. On March 9, 2020, the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) began approving waivers enabling a Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option (SSO) sponsors to serve meals in a non-congregate setting and at school sites during school closures related to the coronavirus. FNS also issued guidance on meal delivery using existing authorities in summer meal programs. The waiver was granted to all 50 states, DC, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
Now, due to the unexpected school closures, schools can leverage their participation in one of USDA’s summer meal programs to provide meals at no cost to students. Under normal circumstances, those meals would be served in a group setting. However, in a public health emergency, the law allows USDA the authority to waive the group setting meal requirement, which is vital during a social distancing situation. To ensure that children who rely on free or reduced-price meals at school are able to get the nutrition they need, USDA is working with states to continue providing meals to students.
Since the outset of the coronavirus outbreak, USDA has provided states with broad flexibilities to ensure the continuation of meal service during COVID-19 related school closures. USDA is committed to using all the options available to help people get the food they need.
In Escambia County, Feeding the Gulf Coast is sponsoring the food distribution. Taking place now until July 24, the food distributions occurs daily with breakfast and lunch pick up from 11:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.
The distribution takes place at Gateway to Heaven, located at 323 Alco Drive Brewton, AL 36426. For more information call (251)644-8475.