• You've Gone the Extra Mile

    This year, we want to recognize the innovative and empathetic response that child nutrition professionals gave during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    As a part of Public Service Recognition Week, Child Nutrition providers across Washington State, as well as OSPI’s Child Nutrition team, are being recognized for their work in feeding children during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    A Well-Deserved Award

    Governor Inslee has chosen this group of people for the Extra Mile award, to honor the public servants who went above and beyond to feed children this year. 

    When Governor Inslee announced statewide school closures, the OSPI Child Nutrition Services (CNS) team took immediate steps to work with program operators to plan to serve meals in their respective communities.

    Your heroic efforts resulted in over 20 million meals that were served to kids in the first six months of the pandemic. School staff, child care employees, and community organizations collaborated as the need for meals rose across the state. Meals were distributed not only from school buildings, but also community parks, bus stops, and in some cases, delivered directly to homes by food service staff.

    Program operators continually revised their operations to meet the needs of families while continuing to provide safe meals that maintained program integrity. CNS staff acted as liaisons between program operators and the USDA to advocate for the changing dynamics communities were facing and advocated for waivers and flexibilities to allow programs to better serve children.

    OSPI would like to thank the child nutrition heroes who persisted against many challenges during the pandemic. You have been the rock in every community you serve and we celebrate your heroism during this past year. Congratulations!

    We want to recognize and thank our head cooks, cooks, sub cooks, the food service secretary and others who helped distribute and deliver meals.  Thank you so much for a job well done!!