Maryville R-II School District is offering free breakfast and lunch to all children in the community ages 1-18.
Due to changes in school that have been brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Seamless Summer Option has been extended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture until Dec. 31, using Congressionally appropriated funds.
This allows any child in the district, regardless if they go to school or not, to have the opportunity for a free breakfast and lunch.
Before approval of the SSO, in the first eight days of September, the district was using the National School Lunch Program and was reimbursed $10,534.50. After being approved, the SSO program started in the district Sept. 14.
For the remaining 12 days of the month, the district claimed 8,110 lunches and 1,646 breakfasts for $34,006.83, more than tripling the money they received from the preceding eight school days.
Assistant Superintendent Steve Klotz manages the food service program for the school district and submits claims for reimbursement of meals given to students.
“We started the month with the NSLP because you have students who qualify for free lunch, reduced lunch and those who pay full price,” Klotz said. “When we claimed each month there was a certain level of reimbursement for a free meal, reduced meal and for a full-priced meal. With this current SSO, every student is being claimed as free with a full reimbursement.”
Students at the Elementary and middle school level go to school five days a week and are offered the opportunity to now have both a free breakfast and lunch while they are at school during the day.
Students at the high school attend hybrid classes, so on the days they go to classes in person, they pick up their meals for the upcoming day from 2:45-3:30 p.m. after school ends. With every meal students take during these in-person classes or hybrid classes, they are claimed as a free meal from the district.
“I think it’s a great opportunity that we are able to provide to our community and our student population, but I would like to see more community members who have children who are not school age or do not attend our school, taking advantage of the change to get this food,” Klotz said.
The Cafe to Go is served Monday through Thursday to any member of the community for children ages 1-18 on the west side of Maryville High School between 8:15 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. If someone plans on picking up meals for more than three people, they can ask for more meals in an email ahead of time at firstname.lastname@example.org, so they can have it prepared in time.