PCSD32 offers free Grab and Go Meals

By 
Justin Hotop

All children in the community can eat free at the main cafeteria at Perry County School District 32 this fall, thanks to the Grab and Go Meal program.
This program is an extension of the district’s summer food service program, which was extended Friday by the USDA through fall 2020 or Dec. 31, 2020.
“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, and today, we are also extending summer meal program flexibilities for as long as we can, legally and financially U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said in a release.
Perry County School District is taking advantage of the program.
“This is a program not only for our on-campus students, but also our students that go to school virtually, so they have breakfast and lunch every day,” Perry County School District Food Service Director Debbie Baer said.
The service began Tuesday, when the cafeteria served 400 meals, a number Baer said was great for the first day.
“It went as smoothly as we could have hoped for,” Baer said.
The district went 100 percent virtual to combat the spread of COVID-19, but Baer hopes to come back to school soon, and the virtual students will continue to have the opportunity to receive lunch and breakfast.
“Everyone is virtual right now because we are shut down, but when the kids do come back on campus, we still plan on having a grab and go option for the virtual students,” Baer said.
To reserve meals, a form must be filled out by 8 a.m. on day of pickup. Forms can be found at https://forms.gle/ritwsg1Srjq2C1gy6.
The district asks that participants pick-up meals from 9:30-10:30 am Monday-Friday. They may enter the bus parking lot and stay to the right. The pick-up location will be at the high school cafeteria.
All children up to age 18 can receive a free breakfast and lunch each day (these are school meals, so they are suitable for children age 3+). Breakfast includes an entrée, juice, and milk, while lunch includes an entrée or sandwich, fruit, vegetable, and milk.
There is no income eligibility requirement. This is free to everyone.
For more information, contact Baer at dbaer@pcsd32.com or 573-547-7500 Ext. 220.
“We are thrilled that the USDA has extended this program to allow us to provide two daily meals to the children in our community,” Baer said. “This is open to all children, whether you’re enrolled in Pirates At Home, Pirates On Campus while we’re learning online, homeschool families, etc. We hope that all families take advantage of this program, especially those of our students who are learning at home for the next couple of weeks. You have to be healthy to learn!”

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