USD 407 News

Free school meals available for all students during 2021-2022 school year

Russell County — The National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option (SSO) waiver allows all Kansas students the option of free breakfast and lunch each school day during the 2021-2022 school year – ensuring students are fueled and ready to learn.

The waiver allows the SSO to operate when school is open during the regular school year – through June 30, 2022. It is a continuation of a commitment to provide safe, healthy meals free of charge to children as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to threaten food and nutrition security of the most vulnerable – our students, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The waiver also will help schools continue to plan for a safe opening in the fall. For example, it will eliminate the need to collect meal payments. This speeds up the service of meals, which reduces contact and potential exposure to COVID-19.

The USDA’s National School Lunch Program SSO is typically only available during the summer months. However, extending it allows for a strong emphasis on providing fruits and vegetables, milk and whole grains while allowing schools to serve the meals for free. Schools that choose the SSO option will receive higher-than-normal meal reimbursements for every meal they serve, which will support them in serving the most nutritious meals possible while managing increased costs associated with operational and supply chain challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The USDA covers the cost of the meals for all students. There is no need for families to fill out a Free/Reduced Meal Application.

Every meal that is served, helps Russell County USD 407 Food Service program financially and keeps local food service staff members employed. The free meals, which are safe, nutritious and delicious, help extend family food budgets, too.

For more information, contact Creath Newacheck, USD 407 Food Service Director at 785-483-2173.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English. To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: https://www.usda.gov/oascr/how..., and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1)   Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (2)   Fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3)   Email: program.intake@usda.gov. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.