School lunch program extended through June 2022

Posted at 8:49 AM, Apr 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-22 09:53:00-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As we work to rebound from the pandemic, parents will have one less thing to worry about next school year.

Parents won't need to come up with a plan for packing or finding a way to pay for school lunches because the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it will be extending emergency school meal waivers.

Essentially, this means the free school lunches won’t cutoff on September 30 as originally intended but will continue throughout the 2021-2022 school year.

This could help quite a bit of families, for instance Metro Nashville Public Schools has about 86,000 students.

For a broader perspective, this aims to help the estimated 12 million kids dealing with food insecurity during the pandemic. AG Secretary Tom Vilsack said it also increases the reimbursement rate to school meal operators so they can serve healthy foods to the kids. He calls it a win-win for kids, parents and schools.

It also gives the district more options to get students the meals, like offering them at other times, delivering them to remote learners and curbside pickup.