During the beginnings of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Wentzville School District started giving out free lunches to the people that couldn’t afford food, due to the pandemic or not having enough to eat. But the district has recently joined other districts across the country to widen their reach.
Liberty cafeteria manager Diann Oberdieck stated that beginning Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, they will be giving out free breakfast & lunch each day to the entire Wentzville School District.
The meals are being provided regardless of eligibility, as a result of the extension of waivers by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) related to the Seamless Summer Option program. This includes children ages 1-18 who reside in the WSD district boundaries who might not be enrolled in a WSD school.
“As our nation reopens and people return to work, it remains critical our children continue to receive safe, healthy nutritious food,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said in a recent press release.
A good benefit of giving out free lunch is that no matter poor or rich, every student that attends the district will be able to receive lunch. If the school decides to continue giving out free lunch, they will keep giving out free lunch as long as they keep getting waivers.
The waivers related to income qualification that were implemented earlier this year are being extended as part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and in light of the exceptional circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many students have had concerns about whether or not the extras will be also free, however, the school has decided not to give those out as included with the meal.
“We were all very excited because we are helping feed kids who might have issues getting food on a daily basis,” Oberdieck said.
Freshman Joy Rayner was very pleased when she first heard about the school giving out free lunch.
“That way my parents can get enough food at the house with the money I was using to buy my lunch here at school,” Rayner said.
Rayner also said that she hopes the district continues giving out free lunch.