Free Meal Program for all Children Starts Sept. 1

Free Meal Program for all Children Starts Sept. 1

In March of 2020 the federal government authorized schools to provide free meals to children ages 0-18 during the state-wide closure of schools. This emergency authorization expired in June requiring WSD to return to regular school meal service which requires families to either pay for meals or apply for free or reduced status. Today, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will allow summer meal program operators to continue serving free meals to all children into the fall months. This unprecedented move will help ensure – no matter what the situation is on-the-ground – children have access to nutritious food as the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We appreciate the incredible efforts by our school foodservice professionals year in and year out, but this year we have an unprecedented situation, said Perdue. “This extension of summer program authority will employ summer program sponsors to ensure meals are reaching all children – whether they are learning in the classroom or virtually –  so they are fed and ready to learn, even in new and ever-changing learning environments.”

Beginning Tuesday, September 1 the District’s Nutrition Services department will distribute pre-packaged breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday from 11 AM to 1 PM at the following school locations: 

Meal Distribution Sites

  • Columbia Elementary 
  • Lewis & Clark Elementary 
  • Lincoln Elementary 
  • Mission View Elementary
  • Newbery Elementary
  • Sunnyslope Elementary 
  • Washington Elementary 
  • Orchard Middle School 
  • Wenatchee High School 
  • Meals will be distributed from 11 AM - 1:45 PM at Pioneer and Foothills Middles Schools.

Pre-packaged meals can be obtained via drive-up and pick-up methods at school locations. Complete balanced breakfast and lunch items will be combined and packaged for children to pick up and take home. 

Meals will be free and available for any child aged 0-18, whether they are a student in our district or not. Student ID numbers/cards will no longer be necessary to receive a meal and children are not required to pick up a meal at their enrolled school. Parents, guardians or family members can pick meals up for students by providing the student’s name and school.

Plans are underway to expand meal delivery services to rural areas of the District and areas that are not in close proximity to school distribution locations. Information will be made on delivery in the coming weeks. 

This is a huge relief for our schools and the families we serve, said Wenatchee Superintendent Paul Gordon. Many of our families who might not qualify for free meals are still struggling, with this decision, they have one less thing to worry about and can focus on supporting their children during remote learning. 

The transition back to the summer meal program eliminates the cumbersome administrative process of verifying student enrollment and ensures that no child is denied access to a healthy meal. 

More information on the continuation of services during remote learning is available on the District’s website wenatcheeschools.org/smartrestart

Free Meals Flyer (English/Spanish)