TUSCALOOSA CO., Ala. (WBRC) - The US Department of Agriculture is extending waivers for students to eat free for the 2021-2022 school year.
The Child Nutrition Program Director for Tuscaloosa County Schools called it a great way to help kids do well in school.
“We’re still in the middle of people coming out of the pandemic. Jobs are still down. Families are still hurting,” Donnette Worthy said. Worthy is also President of the Alabama School Nutrition Association and the Southeast Regional representative for public policy and legislative committee for the National School Nutrition Association.
Worthy believes the USDA’s waiver extension on free meals in schools helps close the gap between educating hungry students inside and outside school that grew during the pandemic.
The waiver allows any student in any school system to eat a free breakfast and lunch. Kids not in a physical building for school can still eat for free. For example, Tuscaloosa County Schools will continue a drive through style food pick up system during the summer, where a parent or guardian can drive to a designated school at a certain time and pick up food for their child for that week.
“For children to be successful in the classroom they have to have the nutrition , he healthy balance and that’s something our schools have provided,” Worthy added.