District News

USDA Extends Meal Waiver Program

Posted on: November 2, 2020
Breakfast & Lunch

The USDA recently received approval from Congress to extend the meal waiver program through the end of this school year.  Originally slated to end on December 31 (or when the money was completely spent), our waiver will now expire in June when our school year ends.  This means that students will continue to receive one meal for breakfast and one meal for lunch, free of charge. 

Students are required to take ALL components of a meal (fruit, veggies, milk, etc.) in order to qualify for the free meal, and may not simply pick and choose items that do not qualify as a meal. 

This waiver extension will be a tremendous benefit to families still struggling to recover financially from the effects of the pandemic.  Additionally, this extension will continue to assist the schools in getting students through lunch lines quicker and with less “congregating” as they wait for meals, facilitating social distancing requirements. 

Please note that students are not permitted to receive more than one meal for breakfast, and one meal for lunch, per these guidelines.  A la carte items will be available for purchase by those students who do not wish to select a complete meal, or who would like additional snacks or other items. 

For students who are currently virtual learners, or who will be electing the virtual option for second semester, this waiver also allows those students to continue to pick up meals weekly.  Families of virtual learners interested in this meal pick-up option must reach out to Sue Toelke (susan.toelke@southwestschools.org) by Tuesdays, for Thursday meal pick-up each week.

If families believe that they would qualify for fee waivers or help from the local churches, parents will still need to apply for those waivers and qualify financially.  Those seeking fee waivers or church assistance must complete an online application by visiting our Food Service website (southwestschools.org/foodservice).  To start the application, simply click on the “Apply Now” button in the middle of the screen to start the free/reduced application via our LunchTime software.