The USDA has just extended free school meals for all kids nationwide through June 2022!!!
Free school meals were available starting in the spring of 2020 due to COVID, and then they were extended into the summer, then December, and then June. Now, this decision ensures that all children have access to nutritious food as the U.S. continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic through June 2022!!!
This of course includes Minnesota kids, so check your local school district’s website or social media pages for the latest updates. School districts have already shared this information, including Minneapolis and St. Paul. Each district is offering the food in different ways but it’s available to ALL kids regardless of income.
“USDA will remain relentless in ensuring our nation’s children get the critical nutrition they need,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “States and districts wanted waivers extended to plan for safe reopening in the fall. USDA answered the call to help America’s schools and childcare institutions serve high quality meals while being responsive to their local needs as children safely return to their regular routines. This action also increases the reimbursement rate to school meal operators so they can serve healthy foods to our kids. It’s a win-win for kids, parents and schools.”
Last year I said this very thing. I wrote that picking up the food is good for your kids AND your school district in so many ways.
In the spring of 2020, I wrote this article, “5 Reasons to Pick Up the Free Food from Your Child’s School District” and it went viral.
I then wrote this follow-up article “Another Reason to Pick Up the Free Food from Your Child’s School District (Possibly the Biggest One).“
The reasons are still the same – check it out!
If you don’t have time to read the articles, I’ll sum them up here.
Food SHOULD be free for all kids, and by using and picking it up yourself, you’re letting the schools and the government know that.
And the free food goes beyond just everyday lunches.
As part of this extension, the article states “USDA will continue to offer targeted meal pattern flexibility and technical assistance as needed. In addition, schools and both child and adult care institutions can continue providing breakfasts, lunches, and after school snacks in non-group settings at flexible meal times. Parents or guardians can also pick up meals for their children when programs are not operating normally, all while maintaining social distancing consistent with federal recommendations.”
Though schools will continue to offer free meals, there are other ways to get free food as well.