USDA Extends Free Meals For All Kids During Summer

USDA Extends Free Meals For All Kids During Summer

3:55pm May 24, 2021
According to the North Carolina Department of Instruction, nearly 1 million North Carolina public school students were eligible last year to receive free or reduced-priced meals at school through the National School Lunch Program. Photo: KERI BROWN/WFDD

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is extending waivers that give school districts across the country more flexibility to provide free summer meals for children. 

Guilford County Schools is preparing to serve thousands of kids over the next few months.

Federally funded summer meal programs are designed to fill in the nutrition gap for children when school is out of session. There are specific guidelines districts must follow, but the USDA is granting waivers during the pandemic to make the process easier for both schools and families.

The latest extension runs through September 30. It allows districts to continue serving free grab-and-go meals at various sites and at times that meet student needs.

Parents or guardians can also pick up more than one meal at a time. They’re available at no cost to all children 18 and under regardless of income. Registration and ID are not required.

Guilford County Schools Superintendent Dr. Sharon Contreras says more campuses will serve as pickup locations.

 “Every school building will be open with the exception of those where we have some construction projects occurring, so we won’t have as many sites throughout the community, but the school sites themselves are open for grab and go,” says Contreras.

GCS officials say last summer the district served around 19,000 to 20,000 meals per day. 

*Follow WFDD's Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

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