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West Orange Times & Observer Monday, Sep. 14, 2020 2 weeks ago

OCPS offers free meals for all students through December

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The extension of the Summer Meals Program allows for OCPS to provide free meals to all children age 18 years old and under.
by: Danielle Hendrix Associate Editor

Thanks to the extension of the USDA Summer Meals Program, all Orange County Public Schools students now are eligible to receive free meals through Dec. 17.

OCPS announced Monday, Sept. 14, that all face-to-face, [email protected] and Orange County Virtual School students will be served meals for free districtwide. Curbside meals also are free for any child 18 years old and under.

Curbside meals are available 30 minutes after the last school bell on Mondays and are offered for pickup for 90 minutes. Multiple meals are distributed at once to cover the whole week. However, OCPS officials said, this schedule is subject to change based on participation.

“This is the best stimulus package for our Orange County parents,” said Lora Gilbert, senior director of OCPS Food and Nutrition Services. “Now, all parents can pick up meals and rely on getting kid-friendly healthy meals. Volunteers in neighborhoods, PTSAs and nonprofit city or community programs sponsoring children’s activities may also pick up meals for delivery to children at no charge.”

Families no longer are required to present a student ID. Instead, parents must provide their child's name. OCPS encourages parents to write their child's name clearly written in large print on a piece of paper for efficiency in the pickup line.

To view a complete list of the schools offering curbside meals, click here.

OCPS' school meals program is offered through the USDA Child Nutrition Program under the Florida Department of Agriculture. Although meals are being offered for free through Dec. 17, OCPS encourages parents to fill out an application for free or reduced-price meals if their income has changed. The deadline for new applications and the expiration of last year’s benefits is Sept. 23, and applications can be completed by clicking here.

Danielle Hendrix is the Associate Editor for the West Orange Times & Observer and the Windermere Observer. She is a 2015 graduate of the University of Central Florida, from which she earned a bachelor's degree in journalism with a minor in world comparative studies. ...

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