CDE Emergency Feeding sites

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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Information

Information will be updated as soon as new information arises. Please refer to the following websites for more information about COVID-19:

Medical icon in red representing COVID-19

For students and families

Getting school meals while schools are closed

As school districts across Colorado announce school closures to help minimize the spread of the novel coronavirus, the Colorado Department of Education is working to mitigate food insecurity among youth. 

Colorado received a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that allows students to take meals away from meal sites to be consumed elsewhere, allowing for social distancing. The goal of these alternative meal services is to provide meals to children while limiting interaction and proximity to other schoolmates, therefore, decreasing the risk of COVID-19 exposure.

Families are encouraged to check with their local school district for the school meal sites available in their communities. Additionally, households that qualify can receive USDA Food packages through USDA Foods household programs

For school districts and School Food Authorities

The Colorado Department of Education is in the process of obtaining statewide flexibilities for Emergency Feeding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Current status of each waiver is below:

  • Congregate Feeding: APPROVED
    • Allows emergency feeding programs through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Seamless Summer Option (SSO) to provide meals in a non-congregate setting during an unanticipated school closure due to the novel coronavirus. This allows students to take meals away from the meal sites to be consumed elsewhere, thereby allowing for social distancing.
  • Meal Pattern Allowances During Emergencies: Pending
  • Operation of SFSP or SSO by non-area eligible sponsors: Pending

View the specific waivers submitted on the CDE School Nutrition Waivers page.


Which Programs are Available for Emergency Feeding?

  • Seamless Summer Option (SSO)
    • SSO is only available to SFAs during the school year during an unanticipated school closure.
    • May serve children ages 0-18 years.
    • Locations must meet area eligibility requirements.
    • Example: Teacher Strike during the school week.
  • Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)
    • SFSP is available to organizations with current agreements to operate SFSP outside of the school year in a disaster situation.
    • May serve children ages 0-18 years.
    • Locations must meet area eligibility requirements.
    • Example: Boys and Girls club during the summer after a flood.

Contact McKenna Pullen at 720-644-7259 to provide emergency feeding through SSO or SFSP.

  • Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)
    • CACFP is available at emergency shelters providing temporary housing for displaced families.
    • May serve children 0-18 years and disabled adult participants.

Contact Naomi Steenson at CDPHE to provide emergency feeding through CACFP.


Emergency Preparation Tools and Guidance

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Building Excellent Schools Today Emergency Grant

The Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) Emergency Grant provides funding for public school facility emergencies. If an unanticipated event renders a significant portion or the entirety of a public school facility unusable for educational purposes, or if such poses an imminent threat to the health or safety of the persons using the public school facility, that school may be eligible for a BEST Emergency Grant.

For more information, contact Andy Stine.


Additional Guidance


USDA Information

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