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CCSD releases details of meal distribution plan for fall

Updated August 19, 2020 - 5:24 pm

The Clark County School District unveiled its final food distribution plan Wednesday, saying it will expand drive-thru meal service for students to more than 300 sites rather than require families to go into school cafeterias to pick them up.

The plan will take effect on the first day of school Aug. 24, a district spokesman said.

The new system marks a major expansion of the drive-thru meal service that has been operating at over 40 school sites since schools closed in March.

But eligibility requirements will again take effect as the district transitions from the summer to the school-year meal program, each of which is overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

That means families picking up meals will have to either apply to qualify for free or reduced-price meals or pay for them, as well as offer their student’s identification card, number or name, grade and school site. Since March, the meals have been available to any child between 2 and 18.

Nearly every school will have a food site, with a few exceptions for schools that are situated next door to each other, according to the spokesman. Elementary schools will serve food from 7-10 a.m., middle schools will serve from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and high schools will serve from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Over two-thirds of all CCSD students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.

The district’s drive-thru meal service has served over a million meals since March operating under a USDA expansion of the summer food program.

The Nevada Department of Agriculture submitted a waiver request in early August to USDA to extend the availability of the summer meal program for school districts doing 100 percent distance learning, according to School Nutrition Supervisor Joe Dibble, but has not received an answer. CCSD also has been waiting on approval of that waiver.

Schools are expected to transition from the summer food program to the school-year program as they reopen, according to the USDA. The waiver of eligibility requirements is applicable only to the summer program, and not the school-year programs.

The USDA has issued other waivers that offer flexibility for the timing and format in which school meals are distributed, including for the drive-thru model. A previous idea at CCSD to drive students to meal sites using school buses is still under discussion, according to the district spokesman.

Lisa Guzman, executive director of the Education Support Employees Association, confirmed that conversations are ongoing between the district and the unions representing transportation and support employees.

Families should use myschoolapps.com to apply for a meal benefit for the upcoming school year.

Contact Aleksandra Appleton at 702-383-0218 or aappleton@reviewjournal.com. Follow @aleksappleton on Twitter.

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