As the COVID-19 emergency evolves, sustainability of meals for kids is a priority. In partnership with the NC Department of Public Instruction, Carolina Hunger Initiative is in rapid response mode, adjusting as needed while exploring new ways to streamline getting meals to children.
An exciting opportunity is inviting new vendors, restaurants, and other food providers to help in feeding kids during this crucial time. The prospects are a win-win for the children and communities since it could mean an economic boost for local restaurants and businesses that have never been part of the federal child hunger-relief programs. Broadening the base by such positive community engagement could create unlimited future partnership benefits.
Between March 1 and April 16 in North Carolina, 40% of operators temporarily closed their restaurant, and 91% of operators laid off or furloughed employees. The impact of COVID-19 on the restaurant industry has been severe.
During the regular 2019-2020 school year, 59% of North Carolina’s nearly 1.5 million public school students qualified for free or reduced price meals. With rising unemployment because of the COVID-19 emergency, more families than ever are in need of food assistance.
During emergency closures, approved schools and community partners are serving kids and teens in need across the state and receiving reimbursement through the Summer Food Service and Seamless Summer Option Programs, also known as the Summer Nutrition Programs (SNP).
Some schools and community partners operating through SNP may experience difficulties with staffing, food, supplies and meal transportation. Restaurants, caterers and other food service operations may have the resources to help. SNP operators are allowed to contract with restaurants, caterers and other food service operations to provide food for the kids in their community.
Add Your Restaurant or Food Service Company to the Database
If your restaurant, catering company or food service operation is interested in contracting with meal sponsors to feed kids during the summer months while the federal nutrition waivers due to the pandemic are still in place, please take the next steps listed below.
- Read the “What Restaurants and Catering Companies Need to Know” document.
- Email Cynthia Ervin, NC Department of Public Instruction (DPI), Assistant Chief of Summer Nutrition Programs, at email@example.com to let her know you are interested in learning more about how to become a vendor, caterer or restaurant partner. She can add you to the DPI database of vendors once your organization has completed the required forms.
If your local School Nutrition Program or a Community Sponsor needs assistance with emergency feeding, they will reach out to nearby food service operations that are in the DPI database and have the capacity to fulfill the need. Please wait to hear from your local School Nutrition Program or Community Sponsor before reaching out to them.
Profiles of Success
- AR & KA Tasty Foods
- Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina
- Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church
- Onslow County Schools
If you have questions or need further information regarding the NC Restaurants Feeding Kids initiative, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. A NCDPI Summer Nutrition Program Consultant will respond to your inquiries.