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All SC students to have free breakfast and lunch through the end of the year

Families don't have to meet a certain criteria and the program will continue until the end of 2020.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — "The really good news is children in South Carolina will be eating free through the end of December," Ron Jones, the Director of Health and Nutrition for the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) says.  

Thanks to the extension of USDA’S summer food service program waiver, school districts across the US will be giving free breakfast and lunch to all children for the rest of 2020.

Jones says SCDE is currently approving districts’ applications for waivers and some have already started distributing meals.

RELATED: USDA extends free meals for kids through the end of December

"We believe that all school districts in South Carolina will be operating under that summer feeding program and we anticipate all children will be eating for free," he says.

The purpose of the waiver is to make sure children don’t go hungry because their families can’t afford food due to the pandemic. 

Families don't have to meet a certain criteria and the program will continue until the end of 2020. 

Jones says each school district will have its own plan for giving out food since some are offering in person instruction and others are teaching virtually.

RELATED: Sumter schools to reevaluate virtual learning decision

"They can operate open sites or closed enrolled sites. So, if you’re a school district that’s doing virtual learning and you have a site pick up location for families to come pick up their meals, that would be a very good open site where any child could eat for free. Contrast that with a school that’s in session, you wouldn’t want to open the doors of the building for anyone to come in and eat for free so that would be more of closed enrolled site so there will be different models operating out there," Jones says.

Jones added that districts that operate as open sites can give meals to any child, whether they attend one of their schools or not. They may distribute meals through curbside pick-up or drop them off at specific locations in their community.

Closed sites will give free food to students while they're in school. 

Jones also says siblings of students can get free meals too, parents just need to apply for a waiver.

Credit: WLTX
Thanks to the extension of USDA’S summer food service program waiver, school districts across the US will be giving free breakfast and lunch

"We have a parent pick up waiver which we issued in March, it’s been extended, and extended again. Families can use that parent pick up waiver to pick up meals for children that aren’t enrolled in those locations."

Below is a list of Midlands-area school districts and their plans for distributing the new free meals to children:

Calhoun County Public Schools is participating in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) for the 2020-2021 school year. This means all of their students already get free meals, regardless of the new free summer meals waiver extension by the USDA. 

Clarendon School District One is participating in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) for the 2020-2021 school year. This means all of their students already get free meals, regardless of the new free summer meals waiver extension by the USDA.

Clarendon School District Two asked all parents and guardians to fill out a survey if they wanted free meals for their child(ren). Pick up options vary per school in the district. Click here for more information.

Clarendon School District Three has options for hybrid students and virtual students. In a Facebook post the district says,

"Clarendon 3 students on an A/B schedule will be provided a bagged breakfast and lunch for the day of at-home learning.

If your child is a virtual student 5 days a week and lives in the Clarendon 3 boundaries, and you would like home delivery of meals, fill in the information through the link below or call Gwen Phillips at 843-659-2188. Meal delivery will begin on Monday, September 14th.”

Fairfield County School District is participating in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) for the 2020-2021 school year. This means all of their students already get free meals, regardless of the new free summer meals waiver extension by the USDA.

Kershaw County School District has options for both their in-person students and virtual students. In a Facebook post the district says, 

"...Kershaw County School District students who are attending school in-person will receive their meals at school.

Families of KCSD eCampus (virtual) students and other youth age 18 and younger can sign up weekly for meals on the district’s website at www.kcsdschools.net/mealsignup. Families should sign up for meals by 7 p.m. on Monday evenings for Thursday pick up.

Locations for meals to be picked up on Thursdays from 4-5 p.m. are Camden High School, Lugoff Elementary School, North Central Middle School and Stover Middle School.”

Lee County Schools are participating in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) for the 2020-2021 school year. This means all of their students already get free meals, regardless of the new free summer meals waiver extension by the USDA.

Lexington School District One will provide free meals for hybrid students while they're in the building. If students want free meals to take home for distance learning days, they must fill out a form. Click here for a full explanation of Lexington One's plan.

Lexington School District Two is offering curbside pick-up for virtual students. When hybrid students leave the school building, they’ll be sent home with meals for their distance learning days. Click here for more information.

Lexington School District Three is delivering five days worth of meals to virtual students through bus stops. Hybrid students will eat for free at their schoola and pick up meals from bus stops on their virtual days. Fully in-person students eat for free at their schools five days a week. Click here for Lexington Three's full plan.

Lexington School District Four is participating in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) for the 2020-2021 school year. This means all of their students already get free meals, regardless of the new free summer meals waiver extension by the USDA.

Lexington Richland Five is delivering meals through bus routes and offering curbside pick-up. Click here for more information.

Newberry County School District began giving out free meals on Tuesday, September 8. The district says in a Facebook post,

"Students on campus can pick up meals for their virtual learning days which are also FREE, before leaving school on Monday or Tuesday. If a student participates in an after school activity, parents may opt to pick up meals on Wednesday at a pre-designated time. Newberry One e-Learners FREE meal pick up is on Wednesday, weekly, between the hours of 7:30-8:30 a.m., and 11:00 a.m. and Noon. Parents are asked to sign up for the Meal Pick Up service by calling the school café or by the online order form found on the child nutrition website: www.ncsdnutrition.com.

Orangeburg County School District is participating in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) for the 2020-2021 school year. This means all of their students already get free meals, regardless of the new free summer meals waiver extension by the USDA.

Richland School District One is participating in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) for the 2020-2021 school year. This means all of their students already get free meals, regardless of the new free summer meals waiver extension by the USDA.

Richland School District Two is delivering meals through curbside pick-up and specific bus stops in their community. Click here for more information.

Sumter School District is participating in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) for the 2020-2021 school year. This means all of their students already get free meals, regardless of the new free summer meals waiver extension by the USDA. 

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