The USDA announced April 20th it would extend universal free lunch through the 2021-22 school year to reach more than 12 million children at risk of food insecurity. Grain Valley Schools will continue providing free lunches next school year as a result of this decision.
Dr. Brad Welle, Grain Valley Schools Deputy Superintendent, Student and Community Services, reported that in March 2021 the school nutrition services department served more than 75,000 meals, the highest volume ever served in one month in the district.
“We would expect that any continuation of the USDA program through the next school year would lead to similar participation by our students,” Welle said.
“States and districts wanted waivers extended to plan for safe reopening in the fall. USDA answered the call to help America’s schools and childcare institutions serve high quality meals while being responsive to their local needs as children safely return to their regular routines,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement.
“This action also increases the reimbursement rate to school meal operators so they can serve healthy foods to our kids. It’s a win-win for kids, parents and schools.”