HARDWICK – The Orleans Southwest Supervisory Union (OSSU) will provide free meals to youths 18 and under through December courtesy of a waiver from the US Department of Agriculture to the state of Vermont.
Schools within OSSU will be able to provide free breakfast and lunch regardless of whether or not children are enrolled in OSSU schools. Students participating in in-person learning have been benefiting from this program since the start of school, and meals are available at OSSU schools for remote learner pickup, as well.
“Good nutrition, health and wellness, and academic success are inextricably linked,” remarked OSSU Superintendent Adam Rosenberg, “We are grateful that we can offer these meals to our students and youth as we return to school.”
Schools offering free breakfast and lunch are: Craftsbury Schools, Orleans Southwest Unified Elementary District (Hardwick Elementary, Lakeview, Woodbury), Hazen Union High School, and Wolcott Elementary School.
Families interested in arranging to pick up meals are encouraged to contact their schools directly for additional details. Federal education funding is linked to Free and Reduced Lunch percentages in schools; therefore, OSSU is still asking families to return Free & Reduced Lunch applications (or Household Income Forms for Lakeview families) to avoid losing monies that support programs throughout all schools, and to ensure a seamless transition once the free meal program concludes at the end of 2020. Forms can be completed online at mymealtime.com or accessed through school websites. Students who qualify for free and reduced lunch can also receive rebates/waivers on SAT/ACT testing and college application fees, and there are deeply discounted rates for Xfinity Comcast subscribers. Applications can be found at: education.vermont.gov/sites/aoe/files/documents/edu-nutrition-meal-application-2020-2021.pdf. In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.