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Children will continue to receive free meals through the four local school districts in Knox County through the end of 2020 as the US. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced an extension of summer meal programs until funding runs out.

By extending waivers for the Summer Food Service Program and Seamless Summer Option, school districts that operated summer meal programs can continue serving free meals to all children through fall, a news release on the USDA’s website said.

Centerburg Local Schools announced that starting on Sept. 14, any student can receive a Type-A lunch free of charge, no matter what the family’s financial status. No application is required.

A Type-A lunch comes with a required entrée, vegetable, fruit and milk, but nothing from the a la carte line.

Students must enter their PIN into the system so Centerburg Local Schools gets reimbursed.

Normal payment procedures will resume after Christmas break.

“This extension of summer program authority will employ summer program sponsors to ensure meals are reaching all children— whether they are learning in the classroom or virtually— so they are fed and ready to learn, even in new and ever-changing learning environments,” Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said in the release.

Danville Local Schools is adding a free lunch through the end of the calendar year, just like its free breakfast for all students.

“We encourage all students attending school to take advantage of this as it will help reduce the financial burden on our school, community and provide consistent daily meals for all students during these uncertain times,” the school system said.

East Knox Local Schools will be able to provide students who are learning online in the school district with breakfasts and lunches through the federal program for a short time. It is working with the Ohio Department of Education so eligible students receive the benefit, the school system said.

Since Sept. 9, North Fork Local Schools has been able to serve free breakfasts and lunches to all students under the waivers because at least 30% of its students have qualified for free and reduced-price meals. The school system asks that families still complete the free and reduced lunch application because it affects school fee waivers and other funding for the district.


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