September 29, 2020

USDA extends free meals for kids through end of 2020

(Franklin, GA) — All school kids in Heard County and the State of Georgia will now receive free breakfast and lunch from now through December 31st, thanks to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

An announcement extending their summer meal program into fall means free meals for all children.

According to a press release from the USDA, this will help ensure that children have access to nutritious food as families recover from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As our nation reopens and people return to work, it remains critical our children continue to receive safe, healthy, and nutritious food. During the COVID-19 pandemic, USDA has provided an unprecedented amount of flexibilities to help schools feed kids through the school meal programs, and today, we are also extending summer meal program flexibilities for as long as we can, legally and financially,” said Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.

“We appreciate the incredible efforts by our school food service professionals year in and year out, but this year we have an unprecedented situation. This extension of 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.”

The USDA adds that they continue to be committed to using the Congressionally appropriated funding that has been made available.

The press release outlines the details of the program, saying that it allows meals to be served in all areas and at no cost, allows parents and guardians to pick up meals for their children, and more. The idea is to provide flexible options so children can “access meals under all circumstances.”

The Heard County School System released the statement below via Facebook late Wednesday outlining further details here locally.

ATTENTION ALL HEARD COUNTY STUDENTS

The Heard County School Nutrition Program has received notification that all children who attend Heard County Schools will receive FREE SCHOOL LUNCH! The program does not include adults.

The program will begin tomorrow, Thursday, September 10th, and will be retroactive back to September 1st. What does that mean?

*If you have paid for lunch between September 1st through September 9th your child’s EZSchool Pay Account will be credited for that lunch (Please give us up to September 15th to see those credits appear)

*If you have charges during the time from September 1st through September 9th they will be wiped out.

THE PROGRAM WILL RUN AS LONG AS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FUNDING IS CONTINUED.

They hope to run the program through the end of the first semester, but quite honestly the program will end when the money runs out. As soon as we know something we will share it.

If you would like to request a refund from your child’s account you must submit the request in writing to the school nutrition program.

You can drop that off by the board of education Monday – Friday from 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM. This is not advised since Heard County Schools does not typically qualify for the free lunch program.

When this program ends we will resume our normal pricing for school lunches. We are grateful to be able to participate in the program, and we hope everyone will take advantage of it.

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