One in 4 U.S. children is now living in food insecurity, up from 1 in 7 prior to the pandemic. And the numbers are even more alarming for minority students, with 1 in 3 living in food insecure households. A recent Rockefeller Foundation report identified public schools as anchors of community feeding and recognized the important role they play in ensuring children are nutrition secure. Due to the pandemic and current economic climate, the pressure on school buildings to feed our nation’s youth is escalating as schools continue to serve meals through a variety of models which align with Center for Disease Control’s COVID-19 recommendations. According to our recent survey of 550 school nutrition professionals whose school or district serve high-need rural, urban and suburban communities, while only 4% of schools currently have kids in the building daily for learning, 100% maintain school meal operations.
Schools are working creatively to safely provide school meals and essential nutrition to children via Grab and Go drive-through pick up, and bus stop drop-off. To support schools, GENYOUth established the COVID-19 End Student Hunger Fund to provide grants for schools to purchase supplies for meal distribution and delivery.
While the federal government continues to support the cost of food for school meal programs, there are countless additional unbudgeted expenses necessary to package and distribute meals safely to students. Equipment for cold storage and mobile transport to serve food outside of the cafeteria ranks among the top items needed by school nutrition professionals to maintain continuity in school feeding during the pandemic.
Help GENYOUth feed our nation’s kids.
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