With the recent events of the COVID-19 virus impacting schools, businesses, and our daily lives, we wanted to provide a brief message to remind you that we’re all in this together.
We know that there is a great deal of anxiety and many unknowns at this point. At this time we are currently working to ensure our operations are minimally impacted during this time. We are working with Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) to get you the most up to date information regarding this situation. When we receive new information we will pass it along.
Update as of March 20, 2020 – Shortage of Milk for the Child Nutrition Program
COVID-19 BILL SIGNED
The Coronavirus bill was signed into law by the president last night and includes meal pattern waivers for all Child Nutrition programs including the Child and Adult Care Food Program. MDE is waiting for USDA guidance on this and will inform you as soon as direction from USDA is received.
7 CFR Part 226.20 allows State Agencies to temporarily approve the service of breakfast, lunches or suppers without milk during an emergency period. For family child care provider claims of March 2020 until further notice MDE has approved:
- – Breakfast, lunch and supper served by family child care providers may include pasteurized milk of any fat content if skim and 1% are not available.
- – Smaller portion sizes of milk may be served if the full quantity is not available.
- – If only flavored milk is available, it may be served with any fat content.
- – Milk must be pasteurized if served.
- – If no milk is available, breakfast, lunch and supper may be served without milk until milk is available.
- – MDE will notify Family Child Care Sponsors when this waiver is no longer in effect.
- – Family Child Care Sponsors do not have to apply for this waiver.
- – Sponsors must make an assessment when processing claims that it is reasonable that milk is not available for the provider to serve.
- – These procedures apply to the Family Child Care Sponsors only. Center sponsors must submit a request individually to MDE to obtain approval following procedures posted by MDE.
CCNI Online Claimers:
CCNI has added the following Milk option into our online platforms for providers to select if they are unable to serve the required milk: “Milk Any Fat Content/Milk Not Available”
You may still circle the milk served, handwrite anywhere on the menu what milk was served, or write a note if milk was not available for given days.
At this time, we are still waiting on further guidance from Minnesota Department of Education and USDA about if there will be additional flexibility for providers who are unable to meet other program requirements for components aside from milk due to sheer inability to acquire them from stores. In the meantime we have some tips that maybe be helpful during this time regarding this:
For bread: Think outside the box for your grains category. Many providers are struggling to find bread, but bread itself is not a required component, the component is grains. You may find it easier to obtain something like pretzels, dry cereal, crackers, etc. and those are perfectly fine to serve at lunch or suppertime. Try pancakes or waffles at lunch or supper – they aren’t just for breakfast! Remember to look for an enriched grain as the first ingredient.
For milk: Even though we have now received the waiver, if you are having trouble finding milk in your regular grocery store try checking other places, such as gas stations, as they may still have stock of these items available.
To try to further lessen the burden on you, if you are claiming school aged children on the CACFP, CCNI will not require a note indicating that there is no school from March 16, 2020 going forward until further notice.
CCNI has also decided to postpone all spring workshops until further notice. Our training information is available via PDF downloads, click here.
We’ve been getting A LOT of questions about the meals available to all children aged 1-18 by the state (administered by the schools) and whether family child care providers can accept those meals. The answer is YES, you absolutely can accept those meals for the children in your care, however you cannot claim those meals on the food program. If you have additional questions with regard to this please contact us.
Additionally, here are some resources that we believe may be helpful during these times:
How to talk to kids about COVID-19 – check out this link
We are proud to have you as our providers, and are working diligently to provide you with the same level of service we have always provided. We know you have many questions, and we will do our very best to provide you information as any changes develop. Stay tuned to this page for any updates.
Thank you & take care,