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All students eat for free; USDA extends free meals through end of school year
Posted 1/5/21

The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) School Food and Nutrition Service extended its offering of free meals for all students through the end of the school year. This benefits all of Bulloch County Schools' virtual, distance, and face-to-face students, all of whom can receive free breakfast and lunch. Families of virtual and distance learners may pre-order a week of meals online by each Thursday evening for curbside pick up at their school(s) the following Monday.

 

Even though meals are free, families are encouraged to still complete a Free/Reduced-price Meal Application online if they have not already done so this school year.  Approved applications are valid through September 2021. This will ensure any meal benefits continue beyond May and through the beginning of the next school year. Also, the completed application affects the funding of other critical education programs for which a child may be eligible. 

 

This unprecedented benefit, first announced by USDA Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on August 31, has provided the school district the necessary funds and flexibility to supply children with nutritious food for free as our community continues to address the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Bulloch County Schools stopped accepting meal payments September 7, and reimbursed families' student meal accounts for any payments that were received September 1-4.


Since March 2020, the USDA has put multiple waivers in place to extend both its Summer Food Service and Seamless Summer Option programs. This also enabled Bulloch County Schools to serve nearly 345,000 free meals to children from March - July while schools were closed due to COVID-19.