Blog Archive

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

News & resources related to school closures and COVID-19

Greetings friends,


As communities and families across the state are learning how to manage day-to-day life without schools in session, we will do our best to share timely news and resources, especially those related to food programs provided through schools and early care and education (ECE) sites, to help us work through this unprecedented time together.





The USDA Unanticipated School Closures Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is an option for schools to continue serving meals despite school closures.

According to the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) website, "Due to the mandatory closure of all Michigan K-12 schools, the Michigan Department of Education is allowing all Sponsors who participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP), and SFSP to serve meals during this time. During this mandatory closure meals/snacks served must meet the meal pattern and are not required to be consumed onsite."

Municipal governments and community non-profit organizations are also able to serve as sponsors of this program. You can find information about the program from MDE here, including an intake form and FAQs here.


USDA household food programs are also available through MDE's Food Distribution Program, including The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) and Commodity Supplemental Food Program for seniors. Find a searchable map here and directory here of agencies and locations providing food through these programs in Michigan.




How to find free lunch for Michigan kids with schools shut down from MLive includes a list of how some school districts are planning for food distribution during school closures.

Michigan releases interactive map locating free meals for children during coronavirus school closures also from MLive includes a link to a map of locations serving school meals at Click on each location on the map for meal times and days offered. Please note that this map will be updated regularly as MDE receives more information from sponsors as they plan for the weeks ahead.


USDA Announces Feeding Program Partnership in Response to COVID-19 to provide meals to children in some rural areas.





No Kid Hungry Grants Available to Support Coronavirus Response

No Kid Hungry is offering emergency grants to support local school districts and nonprofit organizations that are working to get kids the nutritious food they need. Learn more and apply here





Webinar: Serving Students School Meals During COVID-19
Wednesday, March 18 // 2pm ET
Join the School Nutrition Association, USDA, Food Research Action Center (FRAC), and school food service operations for information on guidelines and practical ideas for serving kids meals when schools are closed. Register here


Webinar: Serving Meals During COVID-19: Out-of-School Time Partners

Thursday, March 19 // 2pm ET
The Food Research Action Center (FRAC) is also hosting this webinar for out-of-school time program providers and non-school meal sponsors who can collaborate with school districts to ensure meals are provided when schools are closed. Register here


Postponed: 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference

National Farm to School Network has postponed the 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, originally scheduled for April 21-23 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to a future date. They are working to announce the new conference dates as quickly as possible. Read more information on NFSN's Latest News page.



Thank you for all you do to support your communities, and best wishes for the safety and good health.


Colleen Matts

(she, her, hers)

Farm to Institution Specialist

Coordinator, Michigan Farm to Institution Network

Core Partner, National Farm to School Network

Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems | 517.432.0310 | |



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