K-12 students at all county schools will be treated to free meals when the session begins next month.
The Alcorn School District will operate under the Seamless Summer Program’s nationwide waiver during the 2021-22 school year. Funded by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, all K-12 students at Alcorn Central, Biggersville and Kossuth will be able to chow down at no cost on breakfast and lunch each day. The free meals will begin on the first day of school, Wednesday, Aug. 4 and continue through June 30, 2022, to include next summer’s feeding program as well.
“I am beyond thrilled to be able to offer free meals to the students of Alcorn County,” said Peggie Bundy, child nutrition director for the Alcorn School District. “This will help so many families that are struggling due to job loss or illness.”
Biggersville Elementary School Principal Elizabeth White agreed.
“Taking the financial burden of paying for school breakfasts and lunches off of families has been, and will continue to be a wonderful opportunity for our school district,” said White. “Every student, regardless of their socio-economic family situation, will be able to eat healthy meals each day in our cafeterias at no cost to their family.”
As an added safety protocol during the COVID-19 pandemic, eliminating the need to collect meal payments will allow for quicker service speeds and less handling of cash payments, reducing contact and potential exposure to the coronavirus. It also facilitates the implementation of CDC recommendations for safe school meal service, which include serving meals outdoors or in classrooms.
Schools may not have access to electronic systems typically used to determine eligibility and collect payment when meals are served outside the cafeteria. Instead of spending time confirming each student’s enrollment and eligibility status, this waiver gives school cafeteria staff greater flexibility to distribute meals at a variety of safe meal sites that serve a smaller number of children.