This school year, thanks to the USDA, you have the opportunity to serve MORE students than ever!
The USDA Seamless Summer Option (SSO) enables your ability to feed more students because it removes eligibility limits and expands qualifying participants to all children under the age of 18 who can receive two meals/snacks per day and allows parents or guardians to pick up multiple days of meals. SSO also allows greater flexibility and higher meal reimbursement rate for your school. Each state process will differ slightly so be sure to check with your state agency to apply: https://www.fns.usda.gov/cn/covid-19-meal-pattern-flexibility-waiver
What have we learned? Partnerships, forged to feed students both inside and outside of school are the key to success.
Together, we also face more combined challenges than ever before: staffing shortages, food cost inflation, suppliers without enough drivers, manufacturers without enough people to meet production, ongoing Covid 19 safety protocols, all in an environment of changing policy from local and national officials.
- With challenges come great opportunity. Here are the top reasons to participate in SSO and how to partner to meet these challenges with proven solutions that help drive participation and ensure students have the nutrition they need to learn.
- Participation in SSO means maintaining current regulations, meal patterns, and administrative review requirements. Nothing new to learn!
Serving more students means higher reimbursements and the likely need for quick service adjustments. We have service solutions that fit all café footprints, equipment resources, and staffing plans.
- Student breakfast participation increases under SSO and USDA free meal options. If you don’t currently have a breakfast program, now is a great time to encourage students to eat a healthy school breakfast each day. We are happy to share resources with you to maximize this opportunity. Students who eat breakfast perform and behave better in school.
Schools need creative and flexible approaches to staffing challenges: We can work with you using flexible solutions for all service styles and roles. From prep to service, our team collaborates with yours.
- You will require USDA menu expertise with compliant responses to food supply interruptions. Throughout the pandemic, the Elior procurement team has used our preferred supplier relationships to ensure our accounts are the highest priority for distribution and supply partners; K-12 schools are at the top of their list.
- Safe Café Covid 19 safety protocols are in place and ongoing. We continue to evolve how we approach a safe work environment with enhanced standards and practices. Visit our Safe Café webpage for more information. https://safe-cafe.com/k12
- Off-site service options and pre-made compliant menu items for your packed meals or full menu packaged solutions are available for your virtual or off-site students. These are student taste-tested favorites!
- With high community demand for meals, community partners are critical. We can assist with this as we bring the spirit of servant leadership along with the services.
We support districts and charter schools coast-to-coast and provide information to keep you informed of the changing environment. Feel free to contact us for best practices.