SYLACAUGA, Ala. (WBRC) - Sylacauga families will get some financial relief when it comes to their children and school meals.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced a meal flexibility waiver that covers free school breakfast and lunch effective immediately and through December 31, 2020.
All students and children age 18 and younger are eligible. The waiver includes traditional, blended and virtual students.
“This is an extraordinary opportunity for Sylacauga students to receive tasty and nutritious meals every day absolutely free,” said Kelley Wassermann, Director of Child Nutrition Programs for Sylacauga City Schools. “Though this is only a temporary program and will expire at the end of December, for the next four months parents do not need to worry about keeping meal money on their child’s account. During a season where there has been so much uncertainty associated with the reopening of schools amidst the safety and health protocols, this is much welcomed news that will benefit every single student.”
According to the statement from USDA, this unprecedented move will help ensure children have access to nutritious food as the country recovers from 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 USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue. “We appreciate the incredible efforts by our school foodservice professionals year in and year out, but this year we have an unprecedented situation. This extension of summer program authority will 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.”
Wassermann added that the Child Nutrition staff is looking at options to provide meals for the days traditional students are learning from home three days a week. Families are encouraged to use the Meal Order Form on the district website to order free curbside pickup meals for their at-home students. The form can be found at www.scsboe.org.