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CHILD NUTRITION PROGRAM, FREE MEALS

 
STARTING TOMORROW, September 8, we will provide free meals to all of our Traditional School students through December 31st. This is only available to our students attending our brick and mortar schools and is not available to any Virtual School students as we do not provide meal service for Virtual School.

We've all heard the saying there's no such thing as a free lunch. I generally subscribe to that philosophy so let me give you the details. This program is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture or USDA. Seeing that this is a program funded through federal tax dollars, I would agree that in the end we are all paying for each other to come enjoy a free meal. Regardless of how you see this, Baldwin County Public Schools are not paying for these meals but we are delighted that we have been invited to participate and offer this unique benefit to our students!

I hope that each and every one of you will take advantage of this opportunity which is at no additional expense to our school system or to you.

Any child attending one of our traditional schools, Pre-K through 12th grade, will have the option to eat a meal during our cafeteria's breakfast or lunch service at no charge. The federal program rules require that they must get a full meal to have the fee waived. Buying single or extra items, such as a container of milk, a roll or piece of fruit, would require a charge.

For those parents who have deposited money into their child's school account, those funds may be used to purchase single or extra items as identified above. Any funds deposited into your child's account will remain in your child's account. We expect that this USDA program will expire on December 31st and you will be able to utilize these funds in the second semester.

The principal at your traditional school will be reaching out to provide more details but I want to give you some highlights of the program.

What is free: One reimbursable breakfast and one reimbursable lunch per day per student are free. Single or extra items or additional meals must be paid at the regular price. All adult meals are regular price. (Example: if a student only wants a milk, the student must pay for the milk. Only the entire meal is free).

Scanning Cards: Students will still scan their cards as normal. If students do not have their card, the cashier can enter them, or students can use the keypad. Nothing will change for the students at the register except for they will not be charged.

Free and Reduced Meal Applications: All Traditional School students Pre-K through 12 will receive free meals through the program period. We still need for all parents to complete a free and reduced meal application to support our Title 1 school Funding. These applications also provide benefits to those looking for free internet services as well as other school support services. It is very important we get this information from you to help not only your children but our entire system. Families who have traditionally participated in the free and reduced meal program will go back to their free, reduced, or paid status beginning January 1, 2021.

Refunds: BCBE will not process any refunds for meals purchased before September 8, 2020. These meals are not included in this waiver. Any funds left in students’ accounts will remain in their account until we charge for meals again and can also be used to purchase extra/a la carte items.

Charges: Students still owe the money for any meals charged this school year. CNP cannot remove that from their accounts.

Menus: Menus will change slightly.

This program begins TOMORROW, September 8 and will continue through the end of the first semester, December 31st. If the program gets extended, we will let you know but as for now you should prepare to resume paying for student meals in January.

As always, on behalf of the 4000+ employees in the Baldwin County Public School System, thank you for trusting us with your children!

Eddie Tyler,
Superintendent
#BaldwinProud #CommunityStrong