What’s New with School Nutrition?

Open Letter from Superintendent Woods:
School buildings are closed, but the hearts of educators
remain open

MEDIA CONTACT: Meghan Frick, GaDOE Communications Office, 404-416-2286, mfrick@doe.k12.ga.us *Please follow phone calls with a text message if possible.

Quick Links

Districts, schools, organizations and providers: Use the hashtag #KeepGAFed to post about your work to provide student meals and #KeepGALearning to post about your efforts to provide learning opportunities for students. We’ll use these hashtags to help you spread the word to students, parents, and families.

April 2, 2020 – Yesterday, Governor Brian Kemp announced that all K-12 public schools would remain closed for in-person instruction for the rest of this school year. This is a hard reality, and a real loss – for teachers who miss their students, students who miss their teachers, and for our graduating seniors.

It is also the wisest decision, given what we know about COVID-19 and how it is affecting our state. I fully support the Governor’s decision. I deeply appreciate his deliberate decision-making during these uncertain times, as well as the partnership he’s had with me, the Georgia Department of Education, and superintendents across the state during this unprecedented crisis.

Though schools are closed, the hearts of educators remain open.

In this dark moment, public education is truly shining bright. Millions of meals have been prepared and delivered, millions of lessons have been taught virtually, millions of phone calls, texts, and Facetimes have occurred, millions of extra hours have been put in, and millions of small gestures of dedication, passion, sacrifice, compassion, and love continue to add up to show the best of who we are as Georgians.

Even though the classroom doors are closed, opportunities for school meals, distance learning, and other essential functions will remain open to students across the state for the rest of this school year.

The COVID-19 crisis has taught us that a “hero” goes beyond those we’ve typically thought of and recognized – those serving in the military, law enforcement, or our first responders. People now understand that doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals are heroes, too. We truly thank them.

But there are other unsung heroes in our state: the food service and nutrition staff who prepare meals for students, the bus drivers who deliver those meals, the teachers and paraprofessionals who are learning new ways to engage and educate their students, the nurses, counselors, and school psychologists who provide critical supports and therapy for children, the custodians who sanitize and disinfect our buildings, and our school leaders who make high-stakes decisions during events our society never could have fathomed. We owe you our deepest gratitude — all of you are heroes.

Like all other heroes, you continue to go above and beyond to support students, dealing with intense stress and strain, through long hours – balanced with the demands of your own families and children, and often wearing the new, common uniform of masks and gloves.

More than ever, Georgians are realizing that their public schools are more than a place and teachers do so much more than teach– their value and worth cannot be measured by high-stakes tests, accountability, school grades, academic standards, or traditional teacher and leader evaluation tools; they are critical cornerstones of our society. We, at the Georgia Department of Education, have worked in earnest to remove these barriers so educators can focus on what’s truly important.

Together, we will get through the current COVID-19 challenge as we continue to focus on what’s important – the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff.

As this school year ends, another year will begin, and we will emerge stronger and more committed than ever to the education of our students.

Stay safe and healthy,
Richard Woods
State School Superintendent

School Nutrition Directors, Coordinators and Manager/Supervisors:

The Georgia Department of Education School Nutrition Program (GaDOE SNP) is approved from the USDA National office to allow our local Georgia districts to apply for school meal service in the occurrence of unanticipated school closures and non-congregate meal service options due to the Novel Coronavirus outbreak, you will be able to submit the attached application to the GaDOE SNP.

Instrucciones de almacenamiento y calentamiento de comidas
Nationwide Onsite Monitoring Requirements APPROVED Waiver
GA Area Eligibility Waiver Response APPROVED
Nationwide CEP Deadlines APPROVED Waiver
Nationwide NonCongregate Meal APPROVED Waiver
Nationwide Meal Times APPROVED Waiver
Nationwide Meal Pattern Flexibility APPROVED Waiver
Nationwide Parent Pickup APPROVED Waiver
Georgia Area Eligibility REQUESTED Waiver
Georgia Meal Time Flexibility APPROVED Waiver
GaDOE Approval Letter
Application for Meal Service
SP08_SFSP04-2020os
Multiple Day Meals Food Safety Practices – Attachment A
Safe Handling Practices – Attachment B
SP08-CACFp04-SFSP03-2017s Area Eligibility
FNS-SP09-2017s
Covid-19 SFSP and SSO Meal Delivery Using Existing Authority Q&A
SSO Food Transport Sheet 
Employee and Food Safety Guidelines
Masks: Recommendation for School Nutrition Employees
Covid-19 Procurement Guidance

CDC Coronavirus Resource Center for Schools
‘Keep Refrigerated’  Printable Labels

‘Heat at Home’ Printable Labels

Fact sheet: How to Protect Yourself
English   Chinese    Spanish

Fact sheet: What You Need to Know
English   Simplified Chinese   Spanish
Fact sheet: What to Do If You Are Sick
English     Simplified Chinese    Spanish
Poster: Stop the Spread of Germs
English    Spanish   Simplified Chinese
Poster: Stop the Spread of Germs
English    Spanish

CLICK HERE for information on Preventing  COVID-19 spread in schools.
CLICK HERE for Coronavirus Guidelines for America
CLICK HERE for Information from the CDC on Preparing and Disinfecting Your Home

Reach out to Dr. Ellen Steinberg, Food Safety Specialist, with any questions.

FoodFinder

We realize that some families may be challenged to find food resources to fill the void when school is not in session. We encourage you to share FoodFinder, an excellent resource and partner of GaDOE School Nutrition. You can access FoodFinder on the web at www.foodfinder.us or download the app “FoodFinder – Fighting Hunger”. This valuable resource can assist families who may face issues of food insecurity throughout the year.

Our Vision:
Be the authority and resource for Georgia school nutrition programs so every child in school has healthy school meal choices every day.

Our Mission:
School Nutrition is a valuable partner in education, pledging to provide coordinated support for outstanding student achievement through our commitment to excellent service in each of these core areas: Quality Meals, Student and Community Engagement, and Professional Development.

Partner Sites

Partner: USDA Partner: SNA Partner: TrayTalk Partner: Georgia Grown Partner: ACDA Partner: ICN Partner: GSNA Partner: Natl Academy Nutrition Dietetics
Partner: USDA Partner: SNA Partner: TrayTalk Partner Georgia Grown acda Partner: GSNA Partner Natl Academy Nutrition Dietetics

USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

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