School to provide free breakfast and lunch through USDA waiver


Last week, Lennox School District Superintendent Dr. Chad Conaway, announced that the district will be able to provide free breakfast and lunch to all students in grades JK-12.

Conaway stated that food service director, Robbin Symens, has worked diligently with the state to qualify the District for a waiver through USDA to provide free breakfast and lunch to all students in the district.

“I am pleased to announce that this waiver has been approved,” Conaway wrote.

The free breakfast and lunch only pertain to reimbursable meals, which include the standard lunch and breakfast option provided through food service. All ala carte items are not included in the reimbursable meal and will be deducted from the student’s lunch account accordingly.

The waiver was approved for September 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020, but it may expire prior to December 31, 2020 if funding is depleted. The School District will notify families prior to the expiration of the waiver so that they can plan accordingly. The District will credit each student’s lunch account for all reimbursable meals consumed between September 1, 2020 and September 30, 2020, when the announcement was made.

All reimbursable breakfast and lunch meals consumed moving forward will be free to all students in grades JK-12.

Conaway noted, “Again, ala carte items are not included and will be deducted from the student’s lunch account accordingly; examples of ala carte items include: second milk, double portions, snack, beverages, etcetera.”

After the waiver expires, each student will be charged according to their lunch status (free, reduced, or full cost).

Students enrolled in the virtual school are also eligible to receive the free meals. Distribution of these meals will occur through one centralized location, Lennox Elementary. Remote learners who would like to participate in this program, must contact Symens at 605-647-2203, ext. 5010 or by email: Robbin.Symens@k12.sd.us. Symens will provide families with instructions for pickup. Other questions regarding the USDA waiver can be directed to Symens, as well.

Conaway concluded by writing, “We know the pandemic has caused many economic hardships and we hope this will provide each of you some relief.”

© 2020 Lennox Independent