Students can now receive free meals following new guidance from USDA

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Students nationwide are now able to receive free meals through December, following new flexibilities from the USDA.

Huntsville City Schools Child Nutrition Program director Henry Ward says the district is very pleased with the decision.

“Historically, once we get to August we usually stop the summer food service program because it is designed to feed children during the summer time,” Ward said. “So therefore we are now filling that gap in the Fall.”

Not only has the USDA extended summer food service programs in to the Fall, but it has also given school systems the permission to serve meals to children regardless of their financial status. This is a major difference from the National School lunch program.

“It’s a very rapid process versus the normal national school lunch program where you have to verify whether they qualify for free or reduced meals,” Ward said.

Ward says any student who needs a lunch can get one, and can pick it up at any school. The only requirement is that the student is 18 years old or under.

Meals are now being offered at all HCS schools.

Meals will continue to be offered curbside for students who remain remote.

Copyright 2020 WAFF. All rights reserved.