Planting Seeds - Food & Farming News from CDFA

The Work Continues – Feeding Hungry Children During COVID-19 Crisis

CDFA’s Office of Farm to Fork (F2F) is committed to ensuring that all Californians have access to healthy and nutritious California-grown food. F2F would like to highlight the important work of partner agencies to make sure that needy school children continue to receive nutritious meals during the COVID-19 crisis.

The California Department of Education (CDE) received a special waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), enabling any California school district previously approved to operate summer meal programs to also offer meals to students during a COVID-19-related closure. CDE’s Twitter account @CADeptEd offers continuing updates of school districts and volunteers offering free lunch services throughout the state. CDE also shows meal sites on its free CA Meals for Kids mobile app. Select Emergency Meal Sites in the app that is updated daily.

EdSource highlights how grab-and-go and drive-up allow families to pick up food at closed California schools, and the organization regularly posts articles about school issues related to coronavirus. 

The Dairy Council of California provides a landing page that comprehensively aggregates all feeding sites throughout California that provide children with free meals. The format is web-based and mobile-friendly, and allows users to easily self-navigate to find the closest location to their home.

No Kid Hungry is offering $1 million in immediate emergency grants to support home-delivered meals, grab-and-go meal programs, school and community pantries, backpack programs, and other steps to help reach children and families who lose access to school meals. Click here to submit interest in receiving grant funds. No Kid Hungry also offers a resource called Emerging Strategies and Tactics for Meal Service During School Closures Related to the Coronavirus.

The National Farm to School Network offers weekly updates about the latest news in the farm to school movement, including resources available to help school district nutrition specialists through the COVID-19 pandemic.

CDFA-F2F connects school districts and community members directly with California farmers and ranchers, providing information and other resources. Click here to subscribe to the California Farm to School Network newsletter.

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