Itawamba County School District (ICSD) students are now receiving free breakfast and lunch meals after the approval of a state-wide school nutrition waiver.

U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith credited Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue with approving the extension so students could continue to receive meals through December 31.

“This waiver is very good news for Mississippi schools and other organizations that have worked to deliver federal nutrition benefits to school children throughout the pandemic,” Hyde-Smith said. “I am grateful to Secretary [Sonny] Perdue for approving these waiver extensions so children will continue to receive meals during the fall semester.”

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck Mississippi in mid-March, the state eventually decided to cancel the remainder of the spring semester. Many students depend on their daily lunches from schools. As a result, many school districts provided free meals to students throughout the spring semester and summer.

The waiver will:

• Allow the Summer Food Service Program and Seamless Summer Options meals service in all areas and at no cost;

• Permit meals to be served outside of the typically-required group settings and meal times;

• Waive meal pattern requirements as necessary; and

• Allow parents and guardians to pick-up meals for their children.

Both virtual students and student who are quarantined during the semester can pick up breakfast and lunch meals. Instructions will be provided at each school on how and when to pick up their meals.

Parents can continue to upload funds to their children’s meal accounts if they so choose.

For more information, contact ICSD Director of Child Nutrition Kenny Coker or Trish Trotter at 662-862-2159.

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