Schools will still offer free meals to students when they’re closed due to COVID-19

Schools around the country have announced varying degrees of closures related to the spread of COVID-19. Some have closed for a day or two in order to undergo a deep cleaning, while others have made the difficult decision to close for the foreseeable future to stop the spread.

Not only has the news left many parents and guardians wondering how childcare will work, but for those who are food insecure, not attending school could possibly mean no food.

Some school districts are working hard to make sure that won’t be the case.

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According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, K-12 schools that are closed due to the coronavirus will continue to serve meals to students offsite.

“These meals will be available to no cost to low-income children and make it possible for kids to receive nutritious meals and snacks while schools are temporarily closed,” the department said in a statement.

Similarly, schools in Baltimore will operate a food service program from March 16 through March 20 while schools are closed. Schools around Seattle, Washington, an area hit particularly hard, are offering delivery service to schools and home delivery if necessary.

Twenty-two million children rely on the food they receive at school, so when school is closed they no longer receive a meal and they will go hungry.

During a recent press conference, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue assured states that the USDA, which must approve states’ waivers to allow students to receive their meals from an offsite location, was working as quickly as possible to approve the waivers.

“If schools are closed, we are going to do our very best to make sure kids are fed.”

It’s so heartbreaking that there are so many students who must rely on schools for food, and the news that schools could be closing for awhile must be terrifying. I hope that all students who need food are able to receive assistance.

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