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Emergency Feeding

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School Food Authorities (SFAs) and other child nutrition program sponsors can serve free meals to children in the event of an unanticipated school closure, extreme weather event, natural disaster, or other similar situation. It is highly recommended that SFAs and sponsors develop an Emergency Readiness Plan to ensure a rapid and efficient response if an emergency situation arises. 


Emergency Preparation Tools and Guidance 


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 yeas. 
    • 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. 
    • 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


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 


Public Notice

Per the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Policy Bulletin SP 04-2020, CACFP 03-2020, SFSP 03-2020, state agencies must submit requests to waive Child Nutrition Program requirements to their Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) regional office. CDE School Nutrition Unit has submitted the following state-wide waiver to the Mountain Plains Regional Office for the Seamless Summer Option flexibility that was rescinded by the USDA FNS through SP 04-2020 Meal Service During Unanticipated School Closures. The goal of this waiver is to reinstate the rescinded flexibility to allow sponsors to serve meals at approved meal sites during an unanticipated school closure.

Public Notice SSO Waiver During Unanticipated School Closures 7 CFR 225.6(d)(1)(iv) (PDF)