USDA extends funds to provide free meals to all children

LENOIR, NC (September 1, 2020) — On Monday, Aug. 31, the USDA extended funding and flexibility that will allow Caldwell County Schools to serve free meals to all children in the county regardless of income or school enrollment.

Caldwell County Schools Superintendent expressed his gratitude to the USDA for extending the flexibility and funding of the Summer Meals Program, which will continue through December 31, 2020.

“This is excellent news in that now we can provide meals to all children whose families are struggling under present-day conditions,” Phipps said. “We are very pleased to be able to meet a critical need in our community. We have taken away one worry for our families, and we encourage all to participate.”

The Child Nutrition Department will provide a 5-day meal packet (5 breakfast/lunch meals) to children ages 0 to 18. Meal distribution will operate similarly to how the district served meals over the summer months. On Wednesdays of each week starting Sept. 9, parents may collect the meal packets through curbside distribution from 11-1 pm and 4-6 pm at the following sites: Granite Falls Elementary, Gamewell Elementary, Hudson Elementary, and Davenport A+ School. The drive-thru allows adults to safely exit their vehicles and collect food for each child in the household. Students are not required to be present, nor is qualifying information required.

The school district distributed more than 900,000 meals to youth and children ages 18 and younger from March to August, but the operational funding of this program concluded when schools reopened.

“The USDA extension ensures that meals are reaching all children in Caldwell County,” Guy Garner, Child Nutrition Director said. “It’s a tremendous relief to know that we can now offer meals to any child in our community who needs one.”