The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the extension of the Summer Meals Program with the flexibility to allow school districts, including Orange County Public Schools, to serve meals at no charge to all children age 18 years old and under through December 17.
That means that beginning today, Monday, September 14, all face-to-face, LaunchED@Home and Orange County Virtual School students will be served meals for free districtwide, and curbside meals are free for any child 18 years old and under.
“This is the best stimulus package for our Orange County parents,” said Lora Gilbert, Senior Director, Food and Nutrition Services in a press release from Orange County Public Schools. “Now, all parents can pick up meals and rely on getting kid-friendly healthy meals. Volunteers in neighborhoods, PTSAs, and nonprofit city or community programs sponsoring children’s activities may also pick up meals for delivery to children at no charge.”
Curbside meals are provided 30 minutes after the last school bell at any school for a total of 90 minutes. Curbside meals occur on Mondays, with multiple meals being handed out to cover the entire week. This schedule is subject to change based on participation.
The requirement to present a student ID has also been waived, and parents will only need to provide their child’s name. For ease and efficiency in the pick-up line, parents are encouraged to have this information clearly written in large print on a piece of paper.
The OCPS school meals program is offered through the USDA Child Nutrition Program under the Florida Department of Agriculture. While meals for free districtwide are offered at no charge through December 17, parents are encouraged to fill out an application for free or reduced-price meals if their income has changed. The deadline for new applications, and the expiration of last year’s benefits, is September 23. To complete the application, visit www.myschoolapps.com.
The additional benefit of having approved eligibility includes discounts on internet and utility services, fees waived for college applications, and numerous summer camps as opportunities for the schools to receive grants and other funding.
Additional information about the Curbside Meals program, including a list of schools with distribution and times, is listed on the Food and Nutrition Services pages on the OCPS website.
For updates in Apopka-area schools, pick up The Apopka Chief at multiple locations in the area or visit www.theapopkachief.com and subscribe today.