Meals-to-You is an alternative method available to school districts to provide meals during unanticipated school closures. Originally started as a pilot program, Meals to You is a collaboration between the United States Department of Agriculture and Baylor University wherein eligible students unreached by traditional Summer Food Service Programs (SFSP) receive shelf stable, nutritious meals right at their door step that children can prepare on their own. This program is directed towards rural families, for whom traditional SFSP options are a challenge due to distance and transportation. The program is at no cost to the district.
Below are parameters for how the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty can be used in school districts to serve families affected by COVID-19-related school closures. This is one of the many summer food service options school districts can use to ensure their kids have access to nutritious food during unexpected school closures.
Districts that wish to participate must meet the following criteria:
- Have schools located in rural areas within Maine. Rural designations can be found through:
- The National Center of Education Statistics (nces.ed.gov)
- USDA rural designation (fns.usda.gov/rural-designation).
- Click here to check if your district meets this rural criteria
- Have announced a school closure lasing four weeks or longer
- Be willing to participate in the Summer Food Service Program(SFSP)
- Have schools that are area eligible, based on the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)
Applications meeting the above criteria will be processed on a first come, first serve basis. If qualified proposals exceed service capacity, the Maine Department of Education (DOE) will prioritize based on the free and reduced eligibility of the schools or the identified student percentage of a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school, where relevant.
Process to Apply:
Districts interested in applying must visit: https://mealstoyou.org/emergency-meals-to-you-school-districts/ to complete the application. Applications must be emailed to Stephanie Stambach, DOE Child Nutrition at Stephanie.Stambach@maine.gov.
The DOE will verify that the school district meets the eligibility criteria and that Meals-to-You applications match information the DOE has on file. The DOE then emails the application to the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty for approval: email@example.com.
Once the school district application is approved, families must enroll to receive meals. The district will determine how family enrollment can occur in one of two ways:
1.Families enroll electronically on the Meals to You website: https://mealstoyou.org/emergency-to-you-families OR
- School districts can develop a call center process where school staff contact families for their information, including mailing addresses. The district then prepares a spreadsheet of the children with their student IDs and forwards to the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty.
Once enrollment is verified, the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty will connect school districts with vendors to start delivering meals. Two weeks’ worth of breakfasts and lunches that meet the Summer Food Service Program meal requirements will then be sent to families via USPS or UPS. There is a relatively short turnaround time once the enrollments have been processed.
For more information and questions regarding Meals to You please contact:
Stephanie Stambach MS, RD, SNS
Child Nutrition Consultant
Maine Department of Education
Phone: 207-624-6732 (office)/ 207-215-9437 (work cell)