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Free Student Meal Program Extended

Child 55 By Child Nutrition Department

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

SEPTEMBER 1, 2020 – Unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures.  On Monday, Aug. 31, the U.S. Department of Agriculture extended the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) flexibilities into the fall months.

Since March, the WS/FCS Child Nutrition team has been operating under the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program taking advantage of several waivers allowing non-congregate meal service and parent pick up.

“We are super excited that USDA has granted this extension and truly hope that families will continue to take advantage of the opportunity to pick up free meals. These waivers will help us to ensure all children get the nutrition needed to build strong minds and be ready for remote learning daily,” said Caleb Angolo, the Executive Director for Child Nutrition. 

Over the last few weeks, the Child Nutrition team has been prepping parents for the move into typical school year meal programming under School Breakfast Program and National School Lunch Program regulations, which would have started today. As a requirement of these programs, all meals would have been required to be associated to individual students. 

“Under the Summer Food Service Program regulations, there is not a requirement to request student names or student ID numbers which allows us more flexibility and opportunity to best serve our families and community. Any child between the ages 0-18 are eligible to receive free meals as long as we are able to operate under the SFSP model,” said Alicia Crews, Resident District Manager for Child Nutrition and Chartwells.

Child 11 Since the pandemic started months ago, we know that families have endured many unforeseen challenges that have potentially increased financial burden. We recognize many families are still experiencing hardships and we hope that this program extension will alleviate at least one stressor by providing access to free meals for their children.

Free meals are available on Mondays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 39 school locations, 130+ mobile delivery stops between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and, starting Thursday, Sept. 3, at eight school locations from 4:30 to 6:30 pm.  Students do not have to be present with parents/guardians at the time of pick up.

Parents can download the free Nutrislice app at the Apple Store or on Google Play for quick and easy access to a meal site locator and current menus.

Meals will be free to families during this time. However, we want to encourage families to continue to complete free and reduced-meal applications so that we are ready to make the transition to regular programming when students are back in a more traditional learning setting. Applications are available at all open meal sites.