What program is currently funding free meals?
(Updated 10/9/20) U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is extending flexibilities to allow free meals to continue to be available to all children throughout the entire 2020-2021 school year. This unprecedented move is part of USDA’s unwavering commitment to ensuring all children across America have access to nutritious food as the nation recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, Loudoun County School Nutrition Services will continue to provide children and teens, 18 years or younger, and any student enrolled in LCPS that may be over the age of 18, access to free meals.
The waivers that apply to LCPS include:
- Nationwide Waiver to Allow Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Seamless Summer Option (SSO) Operations through June 30, 2021.
- Nationwide Waiver of Meal Service Time Restrictions in SFSP and SSO – EXTENSION
- Nationwide Waiver to Allow Non-Congregate Feeding in the SFSP and SSO – EXTENSION
- Nationwide Waiver to Allow Parents and Guardians to Pick-Up Meals for Children – EXTENSION
- Nationwide Waiver to Extend Area Eligibility Waivers – EXTENSION
- Nationwide Waiver to Allow Meal Pattern Flexibility in the SFSP and the SSO – EXTENSION
Why are free meals available to all students?
As part of the “Nationwide Waiver to Extend Area Eligibility Waivers – EXTENSION”, the waiver allows for the continuation of the suspension of area eligibility sponsors operating the SSO. Program requirements that open sites must be located in an area where at least 50 percent of the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) participants are eligible for free and reduced-price meals. This waiver allows the VDOE to continue to approve sites that are below the 50 percent NSLP free and reduced-price meal participant threshold.
Families have been affected in many ways as a result of COVID-19, our mission at LCPS is to ensure that we continue to provide nourishment to all students, regardless of the area they reside in. Our hope is that LCPS meals can provide relief to families during this unprecedented time. Please feel free to utilize this benefit as needed by your family.
Why are there no ID checks?
In the SFSP program, there is NO paperwork or proof of income required to receive free meals. As a result, we are not required to check student ID numbers while distributing meals.
How much is being produced, consumed, and thrown away each day?
At LCPS, our cafeteria managers are highly trained school nutrition professionals who utilize best practices in food production and distribution procedures. We return to cold storage any unserved food that has been held at proper temperature but not served during the meal period, so we are re-serving all food that is safe to eat.
Can I pick up meals for my child or do they have to be present too?
Yes, one of the waivers allows parents the opportunity to pick up meals for their child(ren), without needing them to be present.
How long will this program run?
(Updated 10/9/20) The USDA extended this program to run through June 30, 2021.
Is the food offered at the walk-up locations the same as that offered for bus delivery?
The menu for the bus and walk up locations are very similar. The walk up locations are able to provide more variety of hot food due to food safety concerns.
Our menu can be viewed here.
Are the bus run stops the same as over the summer?
The bus stops have been adjusted form the summer due to more school sites being open. Bus stops that were close to a school location have been eliminated.
Please refer to the updated routes here.
Which schools can I pick up meals from?
You may pick up meals at any one of the 93 schools in Loudoun County (except Lightridge High School) that is most convenient to you. You do not have to go to the school that your child is currently enrolled in.
Can I pick up meals for all of my children at once?
Yes. You do not have to go to each of your child's assigned schools to pick up meals separately.