Federal school meal flexibility extended another school year
Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Summer food program rules will remain in effect until June 30, 2022, allowing schools the flexibility to feed all students wherever necessary.
In normal times, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has different rules for the school year and the summer. Since the pandemic struck, schools have been able to offer meals under the more flexible National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option.
The summer program reimburses schools to serve all children up to age 18 for free and allows schools to serve meals off school grounds and at flexible times.
The USDA announced Tuesday it would continue the summer rules for schools and child care facilities for the next school year. The summer rules enable schools to offer breakfasts, lunches and snacks while observing social distancing safety. During the pandemic, schools have been able to deliver food to homes as well as offer grab-and-go meals.
Oregon school districts have embraced the flexibility, setting up new food service programs to make sure students are fed and ready to learn.