When schools began to close in March 2020 due to COVID-19, school nutrition programs rapidly became feeding centers in their communities. Instead of serving students in cafeteria lines, schools were on the front lines of a global pandemic, providing critical meals to those in need.
Within days, their programs pivoted operations to distribute meals from refrigerated trucks, curbside locations, and school or city buses in their communities, without any indication of reimbursement for essential costs, to ensure their students remained well-fed during the crisis. And, as rates of unemployment, illness, and food insecurity grew, many families turned to school meals for much-needed relief.
Now, with school nutrition professionals #BackInTheGame, they face new challenges of supply chain disruptions, regulatory changes, and rising costs. We are so grateful for their continued commitment and dedication to their students and communities!
Thank you to the New Jersey School Nutrition Association for sharing their incredible stories and the impact of this work.