SCHOOL AND SUMMER MEALS

CHILD NUTRITION RESOURCES

The deadline to apply for P-EBT in Tennesse has been extended again! August 14 is now the last day you can apply for P-EBT in Tennessee. Learn more here (en Espanol aqui). If you need assistance due to the Covid-19 pandemic, please click here.  You will find helpful information and links to apply for a variety of benefits designed to help Tennesseans during this national emergency.

SCHOOL MEALS DURING COVID-19

Schools have closed across Tennessee as a result of COVID-19 and children have lost access to the school breakfasts and lunches that support their health and well-being. Advocates, school districts and child program providers can help families who rely on free and reduced-price school meals to keep hunger at bay. School and community partners can work together to

 ensure access to nutritious meals during these school closures.

Schools are closed for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year. Schools are providing pick-up meals and some delivery. To find out where schools are delivering meals visit this site locatorSchool Meal Finder 

Pandemic EBT

Families of children who receive free or reduced price school meals or attend a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) schools may now receive Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) benefits to help alleviate missed school meals during March, April, and May when children were not in school because of COVID-19. If you already receive SNAP or Families First/Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, no application is necessary.

Funds began arriving on EBT cards starting June 12. Meals received from an emergency site or school during the pandemic will not disqualify individuals from participating in P-EBT benefits.

Apply for P-EBT online here. The application period ended in August 2020. If you have problems connecting with someone or are unable to access the application contact Signe Anderson at sanderson@tnjustice.org. For updates from TJC about P-EBT, sign up here.

Emergency Food

PROGRAM CHANGES TO KNOW ABOUT

There are currently six waivers in effect for Tennessee’s National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, and Child and Adult Care Food Program: 

  1. Non-Congregate Feeding: Effective through June 30, 2020, schools and CACFP providers can serve to-go meals or provide meal delivery to participants.  
  2. Meal Service Time Waiver: Effective through June 30, 2020, waives the requirement for schools and CACFP providers to serve meals a certain time apart from each other.  
  3. Afterschool Activity Waiver: Allows providers to serve afterschool snacks without an enrichment activity. 
  4. Meal Pattern Waiver: Effective through April 30, 2020, schools and CACFP providers may serve meals under SFSP that do not meet minimum meal component requirements if there is limited food availability. 
  5. Parent Pick-Up: Effective through June 30, 2020, parents and/or guardians may pick-up meals without the eligible child present.  
  6. Area Eligibility: Allows all schools to operate open sites under SFSP/SSO regardless of status under CEP. 

Click here for detailed information about these waivers.

TAKE ACTION

Share information about school meal pick up sites with others: School Meal Finder

Check out our FeedTN social media toolkit for sample posts here.

RESOURCES

  • Ensuring Access to the Child Nutrition Programs in the Event of School Closures: Click here 

SUMMER MEALS UPDATES

SFSP also operates during the school year during unanticipated school closures and is currently filling a crucial role during the COVID-19 pandemic as schools shut down to promote social distancing. 

  • If you are a summer meal sponsor you can provide meals to children during the pandemic. Learn more and contact DHS:  Email: TNSFSP.DHS@tn.gov |  Phone: (615) 313-4749 

SFSP WAIVERS

SFSP sponsors in good standing are currently allowed to operate under the following United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) waivers: 

  1. Non-Congregate FeedingEffective through June 30, 2020, sponsors can serve to-go meals or provide meal delivery to participants. Sponsors are encouraged to utilize these options and avoid large gatherings for food distribution. Click here for USDA guidance on implementing meal delivery under SFSP. Sponsors may begin operating under this waiver immediately and do NOT need to submit paperwork to TN DHS for approval. 
  2. Meal Service Time WaiverEffective through June 30, 2020, waives the requirement for sponsors to serve meals a certain time apart from each other. Sponsors may now serve a week’s worth of meals at one time. Sponsors may begin operating under this waiver immediately and do NOT need to submit paperwork to TN DHS for approval. 
  3. Meal Pattern WaiverEffective through April 30, 2020, sponsors may serve meals under SFSP that do not meet minimum meal component requirements if there is limited food availability as a result of COVID-19. Sponsors must receive approval from TN DHS before operating under this waiver and record substitutions for each meal. TN DHS will approve sponsors on a case-by-case basis. Sponsors are encouraged to meet nutrition standards to the greatest extent possible.  
  4. Parent Pick-Up: Effective through June 30, 2020, Insert information on if sponsors need to submit a plan to operate under this waiver. 
  5. Area Eligibility Waiver: Effective through June 30, 2020 

If you have questions about what these waivers mean for your community or want to get involved, please email Kelli Klein at kklein@tnjustice.org. For more detailed information about these waivers, click here.

TAKE ACTION

  • Find a site in your area and share this site locator with others: Site Locator 
  • You can provide meals if you are a Summer Meals Sponsor. Contact DHS to get signed up. Email: TNSFSP.DHS@tn.gov
    Phone: (615) 313-4749 
  • Contact Kelli Klein at nutrition@tnjustice.org to share stories about your meal site that is operating during the pandemic.
  • Check out our FeedTN social media toolkit for sample posts here.

RESOURCES

SFSP

TN DHS 

  • DHS applied to waive the area eligibility requirement: Click here
  • DHS applies to let SFSP sites to waive the non-congregate meal option, allowing children to pick up meal or allowing sponsors to deliver meals to children: Click here