Courtesy of San Benito High School:
With Monday’s announcement that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will allow summer meal program operators to continue serving free meals to all children into the Fall months, San Benito High School will continue to provide free breakfast and lunch meals to anyone 18 years old or younger, regardless of whether they are an SBHS student.
The USDA said the extension, which now runs through Dec. 31, 2020, “will help ensure – no matter what the situation is on-the-ground – children have access to nutritious food as the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
SBHS Food Service Supervisor Jim Lewis said that, because of the waiver, he and his crew will continue disbursing meals to the community from the Baler Alley location between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. “We look forward to serving our neighbors and offering them nutritious meals for their students and children to help keep them fueled for learning and growing,” Lewis said.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said of the meal program extension, “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. We appreciate the incredible efforts by our school foodservice professionals year in and year out, but this year we have an unprecedented situation. This extension of summer program authority will employ summer program sponsors to ensure meals are reaching all children – whether they are learning in the classroom or virtually – so they are fed and ready to learn, even in new and ever-changing learning environments.”
School Nutrition Association President Reggie Ross said the waivers to continue the meal programs “will allow school nutrition professionals to focus on nourishing hungry children for success, rather than scrambling to process paperwork and verify eligibility in the midst of a pandemic.”