As the new school year begins, many are wondering what the new “norm” will look like for school nutrition. Several districts have been serving and delivering meals non-stop since March, while some are gearing up for their socially-distanced kitchens for the first time. No matter the situation, there are several resources and trainings available to help support your program during this uncertain time.
- DESE provides the most up-to-date Massachusetts-specific guidance for school nutrition programs. Check out their COVID-19 information and resources, and school meals page.
- For updates on the Massachusetts Department of Public Health responses to COVID-19, review their page here.
- Check in with your local board of health for the latest guidance and recommendations for operating during COVID-19.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) also provides the latest facts, back to school planning checklists, and information specific for school nutrition professionals.
- The USDA has provided a helpful Q & A to describe how Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has addressed possible scenarios to ensure all students have access to meals.
- Similarly, the U.S. Department of Education has a list of several resources to share COVID-19 information with students, families, and staff.
Staff Training Opportunities:
- DESE has collaborated with JSI to host the Virtual Nuts & Bolts of School Nutrition Programs, a free training series which incorporates specific COVID-19 guidelines.
- To help train staff on best practices, the Institute of Child Nutrition (ICN) has shared the Office of Food Safety COVID-19 Webinar Series.
- SNA has put together useful pages such as: Coronavirus Disease, COVID-19 Back to School, and Dining Guide for Meals in the Classroom.
The 2020-2021 school year may look very different, but as always, reach out to JSI with any training requests to help meet the needs of your staff!