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USDA extends free meals for kids through the end of December

The extension will allow the programs to continue through December 31, 2020.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it will extend several flexibilities allowing summer meal program operators to continue serving free meals to children.

The extension allows the programs to continue through the fall months and through December 31, 2020. It ensures all children have access to nutritious foods as the nation continues to recover from COVID-19.

 “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,” Secretary Perdue said.

It will allow kids to get meals even if they’re virtually learning and not at school.

It also includes the following:

  • Allowing SFSP and SSO meals to be served in all areas and at no cost;
  • Permitting meals to be served outside of the typically-required group settings and meal times;
  • Waiving meal pattern requirements as necessary
  • Allowing parents and guardians to pick-up meals for their children.

It will extend lunches for children in each school district. 

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