Schools serving free meals to students

by Marianne Gasaway

According to Clear Lake Food Service Director Misty Binstock, all currently enrolled Clear Lake School District students are currently able to eat breakfast and lunch at no cost to them. This includes those learning from home.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has extended several flexibilities through as late as Dec. 31, 2020. The flexibilities allow summer meal program operators to continue serving free meals to all children into the fall/winter months.

“This will apply to all of our students, whether learning fully onsite or fully remote through December 2020 or until funding runs out,” said Binstock.  “If, or when, the funding is exhausted we will notify parents as soon as possible. At that point, meals will be charged according to your eligibility status for this year. If you are free or reduced now you will not be required to reapply at that time.”

Binstock said she is encouraging all families to take advantage of and participate in breakfast and lunch this fall.

“This gives every family the chance to feel a sense of financial relief while also having the security of their student being fed. All extra purchases such as snack milk, a la carte and extras will still be available to students but must be purchased through the family’s meal account. Current lunch status benefits will not apply to any extras and students must have a positive balance to purchase them.

Remote Learners are able to order meals through the parent portal in the school store. Meals can be picked up at the high school between 10:30-11 a.m.

Meal account notices, regardless of the newly extended benefits, will still be sent home weekly depending on the balance.

Those with questions or concerns about a student meal account may contact Binstock at 641-355-5609 or mbinstock@clearlakeschools.org.

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