USDA allows school districts to resume serving free grab-and-go meals through 2020
September 2, 2020
After pressure from lawmakers and districts, the US Department of Agriculture announced Monday that it is extending the federal waivers that allow schools to offer free grab-and-go meals to any student, regardless of eligibility.
The waivers — including the “Seamless Summer Option” and the “Summer Food Service Program” — have made it possible for California districts to distribute millions of grab-and-go meals to students since campuses closed due to Covid-19.
Without the waivers, the USDA would reimburse districts for meals distributed only to qualified low-income students who were enrolled with the district. As a result, many districts changed their meal distribution plans from those of the summer: Many districts started the 2020-2021 school year charging students for meals and denying grab-and-go meals to students who weren’t enrolled in the district.