School districts across North Carolina are alerting parents and families to new changes in the free and reduced-cost meal program. That includes summer breakfasts and lunches for kids.

Federally funded summer meals are designed to fill in the nutrition gap for children when school is out of session. The program begins in June and usually runs through August. Any child 18 and under can receive free healthy meals.

The USDA granted North Carolina waivers during the pandemic to eliminate food access barriers for families. That included providing grab-and-go meals and allowing parents to pick up more than one meal at a time. But those waivers will expire, and so kids will have to go in-person and eat their meals at sites.

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools will have 27 locations throughout the district. They're also planning several mobile meal sites.

Alicia Crews with the district's child nutrition department says despite the challenges, they're ready to meet the needs.

“We anticipate a great need for these meals in our community this summer. With the rising cost of food and supplies, families are probably going to need our services more than ever.”

Last summer, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools served more than 400,000 meals. The district is also asking parents to apply for free and reduced school lunches by June 9 for the next school year, and it will be granted based on eligibility. 

Follow WFDD's Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news.

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