Starting Wednesday, Sept. 16, all Sedalia 200 students will receive breakfast and lunch daily at no cost through expansion of summer meal programs provided by the federal Department of Agriculture.

The information in this article was provided by Bob Satnan, Communications Director for the Sedalia School District 200.

In addition, grab-and-go breakfast and lunch meals will be made available at no cost for all local children ages 1 through 18. USDA is expanding waivers for the Summer Food Service Program and the Seamless Summer Option through the end of 2020 or until federal funding is exhausted, whichever comes first. The waivers include allowing parents and guardians to pick up meals for their children. Sedalia 200’s distribution will be from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Monday through Friday at Smith-Cotton Junior High School. Students participating in in-person education will receive meals at their schools.

Children in virtual education programs and any other local youths in the age group can pick up meal bags that will include breakfast and lunch portions. Pickup will be at the back of the FEMA building on the SCJH campus, accessible from the parking lot entrance on 10th Street near the Katy Trail. Those picking up meals will remain in their vehicles and meal bags will be handed to them.

In a news release, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said, “As our nation reopens and people return to work, it remains critical our children continue to receive safe, healthy, and nutritious food. During the COVID-19 pandemic, USDA has provided an unprecedented amount of flexibilities to help schools feed kids through the school meal programs … We are also extending summer meal program flexibilities for as long as we can, legally and financially.”

Sedalia 200 Assistant Superintendent Jason Curry, who oversees the district’s food service operations, said the grab-and-go meals for the community will be similar to the meals the district provided for students through the months that schools were closed in the spring due to the pandemic. “Food Service Director Debra Wenig and her crew are prepared to ensure no children in our community go hungry,” Curry said. “We are confident this program will help local families during this time of need.”