Special Nutrition Bulletin: COVID-19 Impacts

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Special Nutrition Bulletin: COVID-19 Impacts

Last week, Minnesota Governor Walz released Emergency Executive Order 20-01 that coordinates community mitigation strategies to prevent further spread of COVID-19. We are working to implement these strategies into our programs. We are still waiting for further guidance from federal and state officials. The Governor's recommendations for all state employees included:

  • Implementing social distancing (6 feet or more) measures between workers
  • Limiting in-person meetings
  • Canceling all interstate and intrastate travel, except for certain exemptions

Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) Commissioner Ricker also issued guidance stating that MDE is open for business during this time to support our school communities and all sponsoring organizations of our programs. We will continue to respond to calls and emails.

This guidance means that we are working with our USDA partners to determine how to complete compliance reviews in a remote manner. Impacted sponsors will receive direct notification from the assigned nutrition program consultant. We thank you for your patience as we work to develop accurate, up-to-date information.

National School Lunch Program (NSLP)

Sponsors and schools may serve meals to students during an unanticipated school closure through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) or Seamless Summer Option (SSO). MDE applied for a waiver through USDA and was approved to allow schools to temporarily implement non-congregate dining. Additional instructions for how SFAs can apply for this waiver will be sent in a separate email to superintendents and SFA contacts by the end of the day Monday, March 16, 2020. We have scheduled a special webinar to discuss questions related to the waiver application on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, at 2 p.m. Please learn more and register at School Nutrition and COVID-19.

Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

Thank you for submitting all of your questions. We have forwarded them to USDA Midwest Regional Office and are awaiting further guidance.

Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)

Due to the priority handling of unanticipated school closure waiver requests, the 2020 SFSP opening application date has been delayed. Look for an upcoming bulletin with additional SFSP planning resources.

Additional Information

Please check the Minnesota Department of Health and the Center for Disease Control websites for up-to-date information on COVID-19. MDE has created an email for external partners to contact us with questions about COVID-19. Send questions to COVID-19.Questions.MDE@state.mn.us.

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