School Business Affairs February 2021

8 FEBRUARY 2021 | SCHOOL BUSINESS AFFAIRS ANCILLARY SERVICES COVID-19’s Toll on School Nutrition Programs Critical needs to keep students nourished for learning. By Reginald Ross, SNS D espite school closures, Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville, Kentucky, served more than 3.8 million grab-and-go school meals between March and December. To fuel distance learning, the district’s no-contact, curbside meal pick-up offers children a week’s worth of free school breakfasts and lunches from school sites and mobile bus routes. Through school nutrition profession- als’ expansive efforts to ensure students are nourished, JCPS has created a reliable safety net for families experi- encing food insecurity, unemployment, and the stress of balancing busy work and remote learning schedules. Yet those 3.8 million meals are a mere fraction of the meals JCPS would typically serve, which means drastic reductions in federal meal reimbursements and revenue that the program relies on to operate self-sufficiently without tapping school district education funds. After PHOTO COURTESY OF LINDSAY ROSE PRODUCTIONS FOR SNA Reggie Ross, president of SNS and school nutrition consultant for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, distributes grab-and-go school meals at a site in North Carolina.