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September 11 - Free Meals for all Students

posted Sep 11, 2020, 11:43 AM by Hillary Stasonis
Dear Parent/Guardian,

While the start of the school year looks a little different for everyone, I wanted to share with you some good news that schools nationwide received last week. The USDA extended a waiver that allows schools to serve free breakfast and lunch to ALL students, as late as December 31, 2020 or as long as funding is available. We are thrilled with this news as it means that we will be able to provide all North Andover Public School students with nutritious and nourishing food for free that will support them, both in school and at home.

What this means for your family and for North Andover:
  • Your children, ages 0-18, will receive a healthy breakfast and lunch every school day, at no cost, in a safe and welcoming environment. This applies to students who are attending classes in school or virtual classes at home, or a hybrid combination of these models.

  • You may pick up meals for your children who are remote learners at North Andover High School, Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has requested that the USDA extend free meals for all students for the entire school year. However, as of now, the USDA has only allowed this as late as December 31, 2020 or as long as funding is available. Therefore, families should still submit a household application to determine eligibility for free and reduced price school meals. This will also allow students to qualify for any additional benefits and ensure a
seamless transition when schools move back to a paid program (if the waiver is not extended for January to June 2021).

The application is available to download at www.lunchapp.com.

In addition, we also encourage families to apply for SNAP benefits. SNAP provides monthly cash benefits (on an EBT card) to purchase groceries for eligible families. To apply for SNAP, visit www.startwithsnap.org or call the Project Bread FoodSource Hotline at 1-800-645-8333. If you are unsure whether your family is eligible, the FoodSource Hotline can assist you with eligibility questions. Families approved for SNAP are directly eligible to receive free meals at school and do not need to fill out an application for free and reduced price meals.

We are asking families to create an online meal order account. Instructions for account set up can be viewed on our website. You will need to have your student’s ID number available while creating the account. (An email was sent on September 11 with your child's ID number). Once your account is set up, meals can be preordered from any computer or handheld device. A meal order app is forthcoming. Meals can be preordered for up to one week at a time.

When placing online meal orders, you are asked to specify where the student intends to receive their meal. In-classroom, distribution line or home delivery are the options to choose from. Ordering meals by the day allows you to specify in-classroom meals on one day or distribution line the following day should the student be remote learning. We encourage those students at home learning to pick up their meals at the distribution line. However, if pick up is not an option, home delivery can be arranged.

Should you have any questions, please contact: 

Erika Murphy, Director of Nutrition at murphye@nak12.com or Mary Ann Cummings, Administrative Assistant to the Director of Nutrition at cummingsm@nak12.com. Your children are the reason we do our jobs and we are here to make sure that they are fueled with good food!

Best,

Erika Murphy
Director of Nutrition
North Andover Public Schools
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