JACKSON, Miss. (WTVA) - U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., says the agriculture secretary approved a school nutrition waiver that will provide schools in Mississippi with greater flexibility to provide meals to students.
Basically, summer meal program operators can continue serving free meals to students this fall.
U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss.
“This waiver is very good news for Mississippi schools and other organizations that have worked to deliver federal nutrition benefits to school children throughout the pandemic,” Hyde-Smith said. “I am grateful to Secretary [Sonny] Perdue for approving these waiver extensions so children will continue to receive meals during the fall semester.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck Mississippi in mid-March, the state eventually decided to cancel the remainder of the spring semester. Many students depend on their daily lunches from schools. As a result, many school districts provided free meals to students throughout the spring semester and summer.
The waiver will:
- Allow the Summer Food Service Program and Seamless Summer Options meals service in all areas and at no cost;
- Permit meals to be served outside of the typically-required group settings and meal times;
- Waive meal pattern requirements as necessary; and
- Allow parents and guardians to pick-up meals for their children.
The Baldwyn School District shared the good news Monday morning on its Facebook page.
"We are excited to announce we just received word that ALL Baldwyn School District students will be eligible for FREE meals from September 8 thru December 31, 2020.
If your child is restricted to a quarantine during this semester for any reason, instructions will be provided on how to pick up meals from the cafeteria.
If you have created a Titan account to upload funds to your student’s meal account, please do NOT add any more funds at this time. Any money already added can be used to buy extra meal items or can be used for second semester."