Local school districts to provide free breakfast, lunch this fall
Sep 22, 2020 02:54PM
By Julie Slama
Children across the Salt Lake Valley can receive free meals this fall, thanks to a USDA meal waiver. (Photo courtesy of Jordan School District)
By Julie Slama | [email protected]
The American Academy of Innovation charter school in South Jordan is joining local school districts in providing free breakfast and lunch to all enrolled students, thanks to a temporary meal waiver granted by the USDA.
The USDA free meal waiver will continue to the end of December 2020 or until all funds are gone, whichever comes first. There’s no need to apply for the benefit; all students are automatically eligible. However, with most locations, children must be present to receive meals, so check with your individual school.
The new breakfast program at AAI will be offered before the bell and lunch will be served as scheduled during the school day. Students enrolled in AAI’s online and independent study learning programs may pick up meals at the front office at designated times.
“At AAI, we strive to offer fresh house-made meals to our students,” food service director and chef David Kimball said. “We are grateful to do what we can to ease the financial burden for all of our families, particularly any who are facing difficult times.”
At nearby Jordan School District, officials are encouraging parents to continue applying for free and reduced meal eligibility so that they won't experience a lapse in benefits because of the potential expiration of this waiver.
All Jordan District schools will serve free meals for face-to-face students in the school cafeteria. Online and at-home learners may pick up meals at specific times and locations designated by each school.
In addition, free curbside lunch and breakfast for the next morning will be available for all children 18 years old and under at Elk Ridge Middle, Joel P. Jensen Middle and South Hills Middle. Meal service at these three locations will be from 10 to 11 a.m. weekdays.
At Canyons School District, Nutrition Services Director Sebasthian Varas said this was welcome news for their communities.
“We have families who may not qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, but have been financially hurt by the pandemic,” he said. “This will hopefully bring them some peace of mind and take at least one worry off their shoulders.”
Four schools—Butler Middle, Draper Park Middle, Jordan High and Midvale Middle—will make grab-and-go sack lunches and breakfasts available to remote learners and non-Canyons students. Parents or guardians may pick up these meals without having their children present, however, students are encouraged to preorder if they are enrolled online or at-home. Members of the community, who do not have students enrolled at those schools, do not need to preorder.
Granite School District Child Nutrition Director Dana Adams also welcomes the free meal service.
“There will be some challenges to navigate, but it’s such good news for our students and families,” Adams said.
Because of staffing limitations and safety measures at all schools, meals will be available only to students (both in-person and distance-learners) who are enrolled in Granite schools. Distance-learners need to arrange meal pick-up times with their individual schools.
Murray School District students, both in-person and online learners, as well as children under the age of 18, can get their free weekday meals at their local schools or at these local apartment complexes: Hunter Woods, 11-11:20 a.m.; Frontgate bus stop, 11:30-11:50 a.m., and Fireclay, noon to 12:20 p.m.
For more information about Murray District’s food services, see https://www.murrayschools.org/nutrition-services/
Salt Lake City’s grab-and-go meal service is designated at certain locations through Oct. 30, excluding holidays and weekends. For more information and a list of schools to get meals, see https://www.slcschools.org/departments/business-administration/child-nutrition/drive-thru-meals/