Sanford School Meal Box Pick-up is CLOSED today, September 18.

 
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School Meal Box FAQ
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School Meal Boxes FAQ

School Meal Boxes FAQ

FAQ for 2020-21 School Meal Boxes (under USDA waiver)

How is this food program operated and funded?
At this time, MPS is able to offer free meal boxes to all children, 18 and under, through the short-term Free Meals for Kids waiver issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This waiver allows MPS to temporarily serve meals through the Summer Feeding Program, which was established to ensure that children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session. The USDA administers this program and provides reimbursement to MPS CWS for the meals that we serve. Under this short-term waiver, all families are welcome to participate in this program. When this waiver expires, MPS will continue to serve food to MPS students, and we will keep you informed of all changes that will take effect at that time.
 
What happens when the USDA’s Free Meals for Kids waiver expires?
MPS will continue to serve food to MPS students throughout this school year and we will keep the community informed of any changes that take place when this waiver expires.
 
Is there any cost for this food?
There is no cost for this food service.
 
Who is eligible to receive this food? Does my child need to be an MPS student? 
MPS meal boxes are available to all youth, 18 years or younger. A child does NOT need to be enrolled in MPS to receive a meal box.
 
Can I take food for adults in my family or are these just for children?
No, the food is for school-aged children and youth 18 years and under. (“Children” means persons 18 years of age and under and includes persons over 18 years of age who have been determined eligible for transitional education services by Minnesota Department of Education.)
 
Does my child have to be present when I pick up the food?
If a child is unable to be present when picking up their food box – a parent, guardian, or sibling can pick up meals for a child who is not present. The adult or sibling should be prepared to show proof of the child’s identity. Forms of identiļ¬cation could include: any school ID card, school report card, child care center records, or birth certificate.
 
Do I have a choice of food?  
No. With the exception of food allergies (see food allergy Q&A below), there will be one menu for the food boxes each week.
 
Could we request a vegetarian box?
While we do not have the capacity to offer different meal box options, there are always some vegetarian-friendly items available in the boxes--including fresh fruit and vegetables in every box. When children return to school and there is regular service in the school cafeteria, vegetarian offerings will resume. 
 
Are there alternative options for children with food allergies?
MPS food boxes do not contain pork, peanuts, tree nuts, or crustacean shellfish.  If your child is allergic to milk, egg, soy, or wheat MPS will make every effort to accommodate with alternative options. Please email for more information.
 
Where can I find nutritional information about this food?
Please see our menu webpage, which includes a list of all food items and their ingredients. 
 
What other food resources are available?
The City of Minneapolis has an interactive map of food shelf locations throughout the city.
 
Does MPS accept food donations? Can I donate food at pick-up sites?
No. MPS is unable to accept food donations. Please contact your local food shelf about food and/or monetary donations. You can also consider making a donation to AchieveMPLS in the name of the school community you wish to support or indicate “Culinary & Wellness Services—COVID".
 
My food box is different from the menu I saw on the website or in the video. Why?
Exact items in the food box may vary depending on the availability of items. Sometimes supply, food delivery, or other issues result in last minute substitutions. Thank you for your understanding.
 
What happens to the food that is not picked up? Is it thrown away or sent to a food shelf?
We have many systems in place to prevent food waste. For example, throughout the serving period, food drivers redirect the boxes from sites with surplus to sites that need more. The good news is—so far we have not had leftovers or thrown food away. If we were to have surplus, we have a relationship with Second Harvest Heartland and Meal Connect for food donation—but so far we haven’t had any extra food. Learn more about our general food waste prevention efforts HERE.