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December 10, 2016
Now is the time to start planning for summer meals!
Yes, we know it’s cold outside, but one of the most important ingredients to a successful summer meals program is to start early. To that end, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture has created a simple tool for school districts to learn more about becoming a summer meals sponsor.
Simply click here to begin planning your summer meals program and get help from agriculture representatives.
The Summer Food Service Program provides New Jersey schools with the highest federally-funded reimbursements for summer meals, helping children receive the summertime nutrition they need to return to school healthy and ready to learn.Trainings will be held on Feb. 1 and March 1, so now is the time to explore summer meals expansion.
This tool is specifically designed for schools. If you are a community organization or municipal entity and want to learn about becoming a summer meals sponsor, contact the Department of Agriculture at 609-292-4498 or email SFSPCommunication@ag.state.nj.us.
New legislation will create fund to feed kids.
A new fund would leverage federal dollars to feed more children who face hunger by expanding school breakfast and summer meals in towns across New Jersey, under recently-unveiled legislation.
The Nourishing Young Minds Initiative Fund would be established in the New Jersey Department of Agriculture to help defray the costs of effectively implementing the federal school breakfast and summer meals programs in high-poverty communities.
We will keep you posted as the bill progresses through the legislative process.
How to deal with unpaid school meals
As of the 2017–2018 school year, school districts will be required to develop and communicate a policy addressing unpaid meal fees. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has developed resources to help school districts deal with this challenging issue, including Overcoming the Unpaid Meal Challenge: Proven Strategies from Our Nation’s Schools (handbook) (pdf), Unpaid Meal Charges: Guidance and Q & As, and School Meals: Unpaid Meal Charges (resource page).
We know this is a difficult problem for many New Jersey school districts. The Food for Thought Campaign partners encourage school districts to implement a policy that ensures all children have a nutritious lunch each day.
Breakfast Matters Webinar: Celebrate school breakfast week the rIght way!
Thurs., Jan. 12 – 3 p.m.
Have you started planning for National School Breakfast Week (NSBW)? Students, parents, food service staff, educators, public officials and advocates from across the country will be celebrating school breakfast during NSBW — March 7–10, 2017. Join this webinar for ideas on how to celebrate and advocate for school breakfast during NSBW and year-round.
The Food for Thought School Breakfast Campaign is a partnership of state agencies, child advocates, anti-hunger coalitions, statewide education organizations and national organizations.
Advocates for Children of New Jersey