USD 480 Students to Receive Meals
Joe Denoyer - August 20, 2021 8:32 pm
USD 480 will continue to provide free breakfast and lunch for all students during the 2021-2022 school year.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture will be covering the cost of all meals for all students and families will not be required to fill out the traditional free and reduced meal application to receive these free meals; however, families will need to complete the economic survey in PowerSchool.
It was announced on April 20, 2021, that the USDA would be extending the free meal service through June 30, 2022.
These meals are provided through a USDA’s National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option (SSO) waiver. The SSO is typically a meal program exclusive to summer when school is not in session, but was extended due to the pandemic.
The SSO is based on the same nutritional standards of the normal school meal programs served during the school year, but the waiver allows USD 480 to continue to serve those meals free to all children during the academic year.
By using this waiver, USD 480 will receive higher-than-normal meal reimbursements for every meal they serve, while maintaining the autonomy to customize meals to best fit the needs of Liberal students.
This will also provide USD 480 the ability to serve the most nutritious meals possible while managing increased costs associated with pandemic-related operational and supply chain challenges.
According to the USDA, up to 12 million children live in households that may not always have enough to eat during the pandemic. As of 2020, 82.42% of USD 480 students qualified for free or reduced meals and a 2018 study from Tufts University found that schools provide the healthiest source of food in the U.S. to children and adults across the country.
Beyond ensuring that each child is receiving the proper nutrition throughout the day, each meal served will help the USD 480 community financially. It will keep the USD 480 food service staff members employed, while also being budget-friendly to all of the families of Liberal.
For more information, contact Connie Vogts, Food Service Coordinator, at 620-604-2230 or [email protected]