Food commodities continue to come and go at McLane Global, while they also begin their support of the collaborative goal with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), PepsiCo, and Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty to deliver nearly 1,000,000 meals per week to students in a limited number of rural schools closed due to COVID-19, Houston, Texas, on March 26, 2020.
On March 17, Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the collaboration that provides boxes that contain five days worth of shelf-stable, nutritious, individually packaged foods that meet USDA’s summer food requirements. For this collaboration, the innovative delivery system first waives the congregative feeding requirement, limiting exposure to COVID-19, then following the USDA Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) guidelines, McLane Global purchases the food commodities and stores them in their warehouse until needed by the kitting teams. For this Million Meals collaboration, a 24-hour a day operation has been formed. The kitting teams are McLane Global’s paid employees who package the food supplies. They do this in a dedicated area of their 285k sq./ft facility where they support this and other feeding programs. Completed boxes are palletized for distribution to delivery providers in the south-central US. The final delivery to the student’s homes is done by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and other delivery companies. The same SFSP cost per child is maintained by McLane Global for commodities and delivery. This cost is reimbursed by the USDA.
The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is a federally-funded, state-administered program. SFSP reimburses program operators who serve free healthy meals and snacks to children and teens in low-income areas.
USDA Photo by Lance Cheung. Original public domain image from Flickr