Meals will continue once NTI starts, though changes possible
August 17, 2020 – Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) this week will serve its 2 millionth meal at its emergency food sites, which have been providing free breakfasts and lunches to students since schools closed in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. District officials celebrated the upcoming milestone while handing out meals at Luhr Elementary School and announced plans for meals when the 2020-21 school year begins through Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI) on Aug. 25.
“We know how fundamentally important it is for students to get regular, nourishing meals. Simply put: hungry kids struggle to learn,” JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio said. “We’re proud that we’ve been able to continue providing breakfasts and lunches throughout the summer. For some young people in our community, these may be the only meals that they’ll get on certain days.”
Dr. Pollio said the district has averaged between 8,000 – 11,000 children served every day that the sites have been open.
In addition, Dr. Pollio announced that meals will continue at an expanded number of sites when NTI starts.
Starting Tuesday, Aug. 25th, there will be 131 food sites that will be open from 10 a.m. until noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Students will be able to pick up two meals on Tuesdays and three meals on Thursdays.
Dr. Pollio said JCPS will request a waiver from the federal government to allow the district to continue its current summer feeding program, which would allow JCPS to feed any child 18 and under.
If the waiver is not granted, Dr. Pollio said there would be some changes in the program:
- Only JCPS students would be eligible for meals once NTI starts.
- Parents or guardians would have to show a letter from JCPS with a barcode to pick up meals for their students.
- Meals would continue to be free for students who qualify for free or reduced meals or attend a school where all students are eligible for free meals. Students attending one of the 10 JCPS schools that are not certified as free and reduced schoolwide but who qualify individually would receive the meals at no cost. Others would have to pay the regular school lunch fee.