|SCHOOL MEAL WAIVERS EXTENSION|
Among several school-related updates during Wednesday’s COVID-19 briefing, Gov. Justice announced that the United States Department of Agriculture has granted West Virginia an extension of school meal waivers, which will allow the West Virginia Department of Education to continue the Summer Food Service Program and the Seamless Summer Option through December 31, 2020.
“This is just going to ensure that we’re able to continue helping our kids,” Gov. Justice said.
This extension will ensure that participating schools and private organizations have the flexibility they need to reach children who rely on free and reduced-price school meals.
The waivers cover meals to students in all learning models, including in-person, remote, or virtual, including:
- Area Eligibility, which allows meals to be provided in areas that don’t meet the 50 percent area eligibility;
- Non-Congregate Feeding, which allows meals to be served outside of group settings (meals can be distributed at a site where families pick up the meals, and they can be delivered to children’s homes);
- Meal Service Times, which provide flexibility to the meal service time requirements by allowing service outside of standard meal times; and
- Parents and Guardians to Pick Up Meals for Children, which allows a parent or guardian to pick up meals to take home to children.
The continuation of these waivers will allow educators and school service personnel to focus on transitioning students back into the classroom after the extended break caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I thank USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue and I surely thank President Trump for granting these waivers,” Gov. Justice said.
“Think about this,” Gov. Justice continued. “Together with the Department of Education, DHHR, National Guard, West Virginia School Nutrition Association, and county nutrition programs, we have provided, so far, over 16 million meals since March, when schools began remote learning.”