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Use of Commodities in Disaster Feeding


Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin

To: All Sponsors of National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, County Superintendents of Schools, Diocesan Superintendents of Schools

Number: 02-401

Attention: Food Services Directors

Date: March 2002

From: Food Distribution Program, Commodity Distribution Unit

Subject: Use of Commodities in Disaster Feeding

Reference: Commodity Administrative Manual, Chapter 6

This management bulletin provides a review of information and guidance on the use of United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)-donated foods during or following a disaster.

USDA regulations (7CFR, Part 250) authorize release of USDA-donated food to recognized disaster relief organizations, such as the American Red Cross or the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, when a disaster occurs. A school may be selected as a feeding site or they may be requested to provide food at another site. Upon request from the recognized disaster relief organization, USDA-donated foods must be released.

The following information must be obtained from the recognized disaster relief agency before releasing any food:

The Nutrition Services Division (NSD) must be notified, either verbally or in writing (staff contacts are listed below), with the above information as soon as feasible. Additional food may be requested from NSD if the school’s donated food supply is not adequate to meet the disaster needs.

The school must keep accurate records, including the following:

When the disaster has ended, this information must be submitted within five days after the last day of feeding to:

Amy Bell
Nutrition Services Division
1430 N Street, Suite 1500
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-322-5051
Fax: 916-327-4004

Disaster relief agencies may request that a school provide them with items other than USDA-donated food. All such items must be paid for by the requesting disaster relief agency. The State can only replace USDA-donated food issued to, and used by, the disaster relief organization.

NSD contacts for coordinating disaster foods are as follows:

Greg Heilner, Manager
Food Distribution Programs
916-323-7175 (work phone)

Sacramento Distribution Center
Rob Dodd, Manager
916-323-1217 (work phone)
916-898-9755 (cell phone)

Pomona Distribution Center
Armando Rocha, Manager
909-596-7777 x222 (work phone)
909-915-5926 (cell phone)

You may visit the USDA Disaster Assistance Web page at http://www.fns.usda.gov/disasters/response/faq.htm for answers to frequently asked questions about food assistance in disaster situations.

If you have any questions regarding this Management Bulletin, please contact Amy Bell, Child Nutrition Consultant, Commodity Distribution Unit, at 916-322-5051 or by e-mail at abell@cde.ca.gov

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
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