The United States Department of Agriculture recently provided funding so that schools can give out free lunches to all students. This was announced on Sept. 14 and runs through at least Dec. 31. Fortunately for McClain students and their families, COVID-19 has opened new doors for schools to provide students with the meals they need.
The program is being offered to all schools in Ohio.
Dorothy Balzer, the cafeteria supervisor at McClain High School, said, “It’s a wonderful idea. It helps make sure kids get a good meal, because for some kids it’s the only meal they will get.” She hopes that the funds don’t run out and that they last until the end of the school year so the kids that need the food will have it.
When Balzer was asked what her favorite part is about working in the cafeteria, she said, “Working with the students and seeing them get a healthy meal.”
According to Balzer, the number of kids who have taken advantage of this opportunity isn’t high so she encourages students to remember that their lunches are free until at least Dec. 31.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue explained the USDA’s decision on its website usda.gov.
“As our nation reopens and people return to work, it remains critical our children continue to receive safe, healthy and nutritious food. During the COVID-19 pandemic, USDA has provided an unprecedented amount of flexibilities to help schools feed kids through the school meal programs… We are also extending summer meal program flexibilities for as long as we can, legally and financially,” said Perdue. “We appreciate the incredible efforts by our school food service professionals year in and year out, but this year we have an unprecedented situation. 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.”
Submitted by Mason Reichman, MHS journalism student.