Free meal program extended through end of the year


Melody Tavallaee

Students will be able to get free breakfast and lunch whether they are face to face students or virtual, through a program offered by the USDA. The program was originally scheduled to end in December but has been extended through the end of the 2020-2021 school year.

Ty Guerra, WTV Staff Reporter

The U.S. Department of Agriculture program (USDA) program providing free breakfast and lunches to school children that was originally scheduled to end in December has been extended to the entire 2020-2021 school year

“As our nation recovers and reopens, we want to ensure that children continue to receive the nutritious breakfasts and lunches they count on during the school year wherever they are, and however they are learning,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said in a USDA news release. “We are grateful for the heroic efforts by our school food service professionals who are consistently serving healthy meals to kids during these trying times, and we know they need maximum flexibility right now. I appreciate President Trump for his unwavering commitment to ensuring kids receive the food they need during this pandemic and for supporting USDA in continuing to provide these unprecedented flexibilities.”  

For on-campus learners, no prerequisites are needed to eat, and the cafeteria will still provide other items for purchase. For online FISD students and all children, the “to go” meals will continue to be distributed once a week.

Before picking up meals, families of virtual academy students must sign a meal request with student identification numbers or proof of guardianship required for meal pick up. 

“These waiver extensions are great news for America’s students and the school nutrition professionals working so hard to support them throughout this pandemic,” School Nutrition Association President Reggie Ross said in the USDA news release. “Families struggling to make ends meet can be assured that their students will have access to healthy school meals, whether they are learning at home or in school. School meal programs can remain focused on safely meeting nutritional needs of children in their communities without having to worry about burdensome regulations. The School Nutrition Association appreciates USDA’s ongoing efforts to address the many challenges our members have faced while working on the frontlines to feed hungry children.”