Free school meals for children through fall
The Poplar Bluff R-I School District, in partnership with Chartwells, is excited to announce that school meals will be free to all students through the end of the semester on Friday, Dec. 18, or longer, as Congressionally appropriated funding is made available.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture publicized the waiver extension for operators of the summer food service program on Monday, Aug. 31, in response to the public health emergency.
“We appreciate the incredible efforts by our school food service professionals year in and year out, but this year we have an unprecedented situation,” stated U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue in a press release. “This extension of the summer program authority will employ summer program sponsors to ensure meals are reaching all children — whether they are learning in the classroom or virtually — so they are fed and ready to learn, even in new and ever-changing learning environments.”
Meals were previously available at no cost to students, grades pre-K through third, under the Community Eligibility Program. Now — funded through the federal nutrition assistance program — the Middle School, Junior High and High School students can also enjoy free school meals, including breakfast and lunch, and soon dinner to-go.
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“These waivers will allow school nutrition professionals to focus on nourishing hungry children for success, rather than scrambling to process paperwork and verify eligibility in the midst of a pandemic,” added Reggie Ross, president of the School Nutrition Association.
Reimbursements will be processed on student accounts for meals paid for out-of-pocket dating back to the beginning of the program this school year.
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