More than 60 school nutrition directors from the largest school districts in the ADA North East region participated in the annual “Big 30â€_x009d_ school nutrition event, which was held this week online rather than in-person. School nutrition directors learned about resources available to help school districts and their communities serve more children during the pandemic in a safe environment for all.

USDA Deputy Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Brandon Lipps participated in the conference, highlighting federal efforts to help get meals to students in urban and rural areas while out of school. He also recognized the school nutrition directors’ dedicated efforts to feeding students.

In New York City, 495,000 meals are served Monday through Friday from 491 grab and go hubs in the city’s five bureaus, in addition to delivery options to children and families living in shelters, as reported by Tracy Cashin, Director of Operations, Office of Food Nutrition Services for New York City Department of Education.

In Camden, N.J., school nutrition staff began serving dairy-heavy pre-cooked foods that can be reheated at home. They recognized ADA North East for help in getting milk to families in the area, and they have applied for a GENYOUth grant to get equipment for serving dairy products.

The Syracuse City School District partnered with ADA North East to help secure nearly 2,000 gallons donated from Dairy Farmers of America to share with students’ families, as part of the distribution effort on April 22.

Other conference discussion topics included: meal preparation, staffing logistics, strategic partnerships, available resources and employee morale.

Several of our Fuel Up to Play 60 NFL partners pulled together to make a video in support of the school nutrition directors.