USDA extends funding for program through as late as December 31
September 15, 2020
All La Porte ISD students this past week began receiving free meals following the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s announcement that it would extend the Summer Food Service Program.
The program provides funding to help meet children’s nutritional needs while schools are not in session. Due in part to declining school meal participation at the beginning of the 2020-21 school year, the USDA approved the extension for as long as funding is available, as late as December 31. As with the traditional summer program, the extension also provides free curbside meals for children 18 and younger who are not enrolled in the district.
“This (waiver) essentially allows us to provide meals to all children without the added burden of determining who is eligible and who isn’t,” said Yvonne Bennett, La Porte ISD nutrition director. “It lifts a huge weight off our shoulders because it allows us to focus all of our efforts on feeding our children.”
The nutrition department still urges parents to submit free and reduced meal applications, since the length of the funding extension is unknown, Bennett said.
Daily curbside meal pick-up consists of lunch and the next day’s breakfast, and is available from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. weekdays at La Porte Elementary School and James H. Baker Sixth Grade Campus. If students are not present in the vehicle, the parent or guardian must present the student’s school ID number or badge to the cashier. Parents or guardians picking up curbside meals for children who are not enrolled in the district must present each child’s birth certificate.