On March 13th Steepletown put Kitchen Sage on hold. It was anticipated that this would perhaps last no longer than 3 weeks as the Governor’s original Executive Order set a timeframe to reopen schools on April 6th. With food on hand that was intended to feed preschoolers, Kitchen Sage donated lots of food to a local food pantry here on the West Side. Then on April 2nd the Governor signed Executive Order 2020-35 which suspends in-person K-12 instruction for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. With that decision, the Office of Health & Nutrition Services of the Michigan Department of Education has opted to begin the Summer Food Service Program, or SFSP, early.
Since Steepletown had already participated in this program in the past as a neighborhood site, Steepletown was allowed to reinstate the program immediately. The first step was to see if there was enough interest among the Steepletown preschool families. With a significant number of families eager to sign-up, Chef Karen began putting the pieces in place. Beginning on Monday, April 13th, several families will begin receiving breakfast and lunch every day, six days a week, for all the children in their household. These meals will be delivered to the families’ homes three times a week following the guidelines of the USDA and the local health department. As one mother said appreciatively, “my kids will like getting something other than peanut butter & jelly sandwiches for lunch.” Chef Karen has prepared a nutritious and varied menu that kids will definitely enjoy!
The Summer Food Service Program is designed to be a continuation of what schools offer children of low-income families during the school year, which are free, healthy meals. Another advantage is that these meals are available to all children 18 years-old and younger, which is a great help to many families that might be struggling to access food. Steepletown’s Kitchen Sage Program is glad that it can be of help during this time of uncertainty.