This week, the USDA further extended funding and flexibility that will allow Watauga County Schools to serve free meals to all children in the county regardless of income or school enrollment for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year.
Meal distribution will continue to operate in the same way the district served meals over the summer, but each school in the county will be open as a meal distribution site. Each school in Watauga will serve lunch and a packed breakfast for the next day from 1-1:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday and from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Wednesday. Wednesday’s meal pickup will be curbside only at Watauga High School. There will be no meal service on November 3.
According to the USDA, the program will be funded through June 2021.
Over the summer, Watauga County Schools’ Child Nutrition team was able to serve 250,000 meals at its drive-thru pick up sites. WCS cafeterias have continued to operate as food hubs, serving over 16,000 meals to all children in their communities since the start of the school year.
Superintendent Scott Elliott said he was grateful for the funding that will allow Watauga County Schools to feed children free of charge for the remainder of the school year.
“We are very grateful to the federal government for choosing to fund free meals in our cafeterias,” Elliott said. “Since schools closed at the start of the pandemic, we’ve done everything possible to ensure that our students and families in our communities could have a meal they could rely on at our schools. So many of our families are still facing immense difficulties and hardships stemming from the pandemic, so we are so pleased to be able to continue servicing free meals for the remainder of the school year.”
“I strongly encourage all families to support our cafeterias by taking advantage of these free meals,” Elliott added.