students eligible for free lunch/breakfast
Posted on 09/03/2020
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FOOD SERVICE NEWS! All students eligible for free lunch and breakfast through
December 31, 2020

 A federal waiver from the USDA that allowed the Summer Food Service Program to operate amid the COVID-19 pandemic was set to expire on Aug. 31. But to the relief of many school nutrition administrators and child nutrition advocates, the USDA announced yesterday that several flexibilities will be extended through as late as Dec. 31, 2020. All Pecatonica parents and guardians received a survey in their emails on Wednesday, September 2nd, asking if they would like their children to participate. This is to get accurate lunch and breakfast counts. To be clear, this means that all children, regardless of whether they were previously a part of the School Food Service Program’s (SFSP) Free and Reduced Lunch Program will receive breakfast and lunch at no charge. Meals will not be charged to existing accounts starting on Tuesday, September 8th. In the meantime, if there is a food service balance due, those will be “frozen” – but the school district encourages people to make payments on overdue accounts if possible.

The flexibility to serve free meals to all children under the SFSP is crucial to the ability of school nutrition departments to meet the increased demand brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. A June report from Northwestern University analyzed national Census Bureau data and found that food insecurity has doubled overall and tripled among households with children. And a July report from No Kid Hungry found that 47% of American families live with hunger — with even higher rates among Black (53%) and Hispanic (56%) families.

A reminder that the “Pec Pantry: Feeding Hungry Kids” program is available to children and families in both buildings. A survey was sent out to families on the first day of school. If you cannot locate the survey or if you have any questions, you may contact either school building or speak with the principal to sign up for this confidential program.

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