USDA Meal Service Extended

sack lunchThe U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it will extend several meal flexibilities which will allow summer meal program operators to continue serving free meals to children into the fall months through as late as December 31, 2020 (or sooner if funds run out). This will help ensure children have access to nutritious food as the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Johnston Community School District has been approved to participate in the (SFSP) free meals program beginning Monday Sept 14th. Children who are enrolled at JCSD and choose to eat will receive one breakfast and/or one lunch free of charge at their building site. Hybrid or Online learners who have signed up to receive meals will not be required to pay for the meals. Meals provided will follow USDA guidelines and all extra portions or additional food items will be charged as ala carte to the student’s account if funds are available.  Meals will need to be accounted for so proper reimbursement can be claimed.

USDA Free Meal Service Q & A

  • How are students getting free meals?
      • The USDA extended a waiver that allows all children to eat for free during the COVID shutdowns that began in March 2020. Our procedure for lunch and breakfast service when at school will remain the same – but the price in computer will go to zero for lunch and breakfast starting on Monday, Sept. 14.  Students will pick up meals and go to the cash register to ring up but there will be no charge, unless they buy extra items or entrees – that will be an additional charge.  This will remain in effect through December 2020 or until funds are no longer available.
  • Do teachers/support staff get free meals?
      •  No, the waiver only covers children’s meals.
  • What about the money already on student accounts?
      • The money stays on their account. At this time the waiver is only extended until December 31, 2020*. Beginning January 1, 2021 all families will go back to being charged based on their free/reduced/paid status.
        • Extra milks will still be charged to accounts. They are $0.50.
      • If your student has a negative balance, please continue to add money to your student’s account until the balance becomes even or positive.
  • Do I still need to fill out my student’s free or reduced meal application?
      • Yes – still fill out your free and reduced meal applications. Your application will determine the status after the waiver expires.


Photo of Larae Doll
Director Of Nutrition & Food Services
District Office