The U.S. Department of Agriculture is extending its free meals for children program to Sept. 30, 2021. This means all children will have access to nutritious meals throughout the summer, not just during the school year. The meals from the “summer meal programs” can be picked up by parents or guardians, and they’ll be provided in safe settings. The meals can also be served outside normal meal times, or served in bulk to cover multiple days.
The free meals are important for the 12 million kids in America that may not always have meals available at home, children that live in areas designated as food deserts, and families that require the assistance of school meals. Many low-income students depend on these free meals as their only source of food for the day.
Other free school meal advocates hope this will make free breakfast and lunch permanent across the country, thus reducing paperwork for schools, reduces student stigma for free meal programs, and allows more students to improve their learning environment.