Rutherford County students will not have to pay for a standard breakfast or lunch until further notice, based on a nationwide waiver adopted by the United States Department of Agriculture.
The waiver goes into effect Wednesday, Sept. 2, for Rutherford County students, said Eric Smith, RCS School Nutrition director.
The program will operate similar to the summer food program.
All students 18 or under (with the exception of special education students who over 18 and can also use the program) will be able to eat a standard breakfast and lunch for free until further notice. A la carte items are not included in the free meal program.
The program will remain in effect until the USDA ends it.
Parents who are distance-learning and wanting to pick up meals must contact the school where they wish to pick up meals. Parents can get up to seven days’ worth of meals, included food for Saturday and Sunday.
Parents will no longer have to pick up meals at the school their child is registered. This waiver allows RCS to provide meals to all students 18 or under at any meal site.
Parents are strongly encouraged to continue filling out applications for Federal Free and Reduced Lunch program if they qualify because the program will still be needed once the USDA waiver ends.
By JAMES EVANS, Rutherford County Schools