The USDA announced on Monday a new waiver that will allow West Fargo Public Schools to serve free meals

to all students through December 2020.

According to their press release, the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service is extending multiple waivers throughout the nation that will allow meals to be served in all areas at no cost to families, no matter economic status. Additionally, the waivers permit districts flexibility in the locations and times that meals can be made available to children. Such flexibility will ensure meal options continue for American children no matter the circumstances that may arise in their educational setting or their family’s financial well-being.

In West Fargo Public Schools, all students (A – K cohort, L – Z cohort, and virtual) will receive meals each day school is in session. Families are asked to submit meal order forms if they will need meals during offsite (online) instructional days or if they are enrolled in the virtual program and in need of meals. The waiver takes effect immediately. Funds that have been placed in students’ accounts at West Fargo Public Schools will remain there for use once the waiver expires in January 2021.

District plan for offsite meals for hybrid students:

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Through completion of an online form, parents can preorder meals for the three days per week their student is online learning. These forms will be due each Wednesday by 5 p.m., for the students in the Monday-Tuesday group and each Monday by 5 p.m., for the students in the Thursday-Friday group. The box will contain three breakfasts and three lunches; no partial orders are accepted.

The first distribution dates will be Wednesday, Sept. 9 and Friday, Sept. 11. Effective the week of Sept. 14, the meals will be sent home with students on the last day of their onsite learning for the week (on Tuesdays for the Monday-Tuesday group and on Fridays for the Thursday-Friday group).

District plan for offsite meals for virtual students:

Students that are participating in the Virtual Program still have access to the district’s food service program. Parents can preorder a weekly meal box by completing an online form each Thursday by 5:00PM. The box will contain five breakfasts and five lunches; partial orders will not be accepted. Weekend backpack program bags will also be available for pickup at the same time as the meal box.

Meal pickups will occur from 11 a.m. to Noon, each Wednesday beginning Sep. 9. Pickup sites are the three middle schools: Cheney Middle School, Liberty Middle School and Heritage Middle School.