The Diocese of Owensboro School Food Service was recently approved by the Kentucky Dept. of Education to begin serving free meals for both breakfast and lunch through the Summer Meal Program. Free meals will begin on Tuesday, September 8th and continue through December 2020, or until available funding runs out. During this time, ALL students 18 and under are eligible to receive free breakfasts and lunches each day with NO paperwork for families to complete!
Students will be able to purchase snack items and bottled water with the positive funds in their accounts. Any positive account balance will remain in the student’s account for when we switch back to the National School Breakfast & Lunch Program.
The Diocese of Owensboro SFS has participated in the summer meal program for several years. In March, when schools were shut down due to Covid-19, we immediately opened five of our school sites to provide free meals for all children 18 years and younger. Once school resumed in person instruction days in late August, we were required to switch over to the National School Breakfast & Lunch Program and charge students for their meals.
The announcement came from USDA on August 31, 2020 allowing 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 that children have access to nutritious food as the country recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic. USDA has been and continues to be committed to using the congressionally appropriated funding that has been made available.
We encourage all students to participate in the free meals for both breakfast and lunch. Every precaution is being taken by our cafeteria staff to ensure all students are served a nutritious, hot meal. Cafeteria managers are screening their delivery drivers and employees upon arrival by taking temperatures and each employee is required to fill out a health screening form daily. The food service staff wears masks and gloves every day along with handwashing and sanitizing tables and equipment multiple times a day. All components for the meal service are handed to the student by the food service staff to prevent handling of food and supplies by the students.
The Diocese of Owensboro greatly appreciates USDA addressing the critical challenges shared by our employees serving students on the front lines and by allowing our school nutrition professionals to focus on nourishing hungry children for success, rather than scrambling to process paperwork and verify eligibility in the midst of a pandemic.
Director of Food Services