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Disaster Relief & Summer Storage

Disaster Relief

As we all know from this past decade of flooding, schools and school food personnel can and do play an important role in situations where families are forced from their homes by floods, tornadoes, or other natural disasters.

Schools in most communities are among the most substantial and accessible public buildings available, and school officials should be aware that USDA donated foods on hand can be used immediately in disaster situations. Generally, the Red Cross, and/or other recognized relief agency officials handle responsibility for such emergencies.

When USDA foods and/or locally purchased foods are released from school stocks, it is necessary that a record of foods released be maintained. It is also necessary that some USDA foods and all locally purchased foods be replaced by the agency in charge of emergency operations, except when called upon directly by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Please feel free to call upon us if we can be of assistance.

Summer Storage

1. Be sure that a responsible person checks all freezer and refrigerator units daily to ensure that proper temperatures are being maintained and the equipment is operating properly. A daily record is recommended.

2. Keep dry food products in cool and dry storerooms. Ideally, keep temperature around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not store in rooms that are above 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Store food so that air can circulate around it. Leave a one- to two-inch space between walls and the food items.

4. Broken lots of dry beans, flour, rotini, macaroni, etc., should be stored in metal or glass containers with tight fitting lids and stored off the floor and away from the wall in normal refrigeration.

5. Store foods on shelves, dollies or skids. Do not store directly on the floor.

6. Label and date all food that is placed in storage. Use this food first in the fall.