Students Can Continue Receiving Meals At No Cost

Students Can Continue Receiving Meals At No Cost

Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture extended several waivers that allow school districts to serve nutritious meals to students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Superintendent Chris Reykdal’s statement is below.

OLYMPIA—August 31, 2020—Today, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) extended waivers that allow children ages 0–18 to receive breakfast and lunch at no cost through the end of December 2020.

With these waivers, schools can continue providing healthy, nutritious meals at no cost to all students who need them. Schools can continue using the processes they developed last spring, which resulted in more than 28 million meals being served to students who were learning at a distance.

For schools that are providing distance learning this fall, these processes can include grab and go meals or meal delivery to homes. I encourage school districts to deploy additional transportation and food services staff to do this work. We have worked hard to ensure that transporting food to students and families is an allowable use of transportation funds following the proclamation released by Governor Inslee last week.

This pandemic requires our education system to be flexible and innovative in order to respond to student needs. I’m grateful to the advocates across the state who pushed for these waiver extensions with us. Washingtonians are working hard together to ensure our most vulnerable students and families have the food they need.

The USDA waivers extend the Summer Food Service Program through December 31, 2020 or until funds run out. We will continue our advocacy efforts to get the USDA and Congress to fully fund this program through the entire 2020–21 school year.

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