GCPS ISC_Gwinnett Schools file photo (copy)

Gwinnett County Public Schools has received a waiver from the federal government that allows them to provide meals to children under 18 for free through the end of December.

The waiver came from the U.S. Department of Agriculture last week and allows the school system to offer the Seamless Summer Option meals program throughout the fall semester of the current school year.

The free meals will be offered to both students attending classes in person and those participating in virtual learning because of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as other children under 18.

“This extension, paired with guidance received from the Georgia Department of Education, will allow Gwinnett County Public Schools to offer meals at no charge at all school sites to all students, effective Sept. 8,” district officials said. “These meals are provided at no cost to the individual through the federal School Nutrition Program.”

Students who are attending classes in person will be able to receive their free meals during their scheduled meal times at their respective schools.

Families of students participating in digital learning will be able to pick up their meals, curbside, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays, with Friday’s breakfast and lunch being included in the Thursday pickup. The families will have to check with their schools for specific curbside pick-up instructions.

Families of kids under 18 who are not Gwinnett County Public Schools students will have to check with their local schools for details about curbside meal pickups.

No one will be allowed to enter the school to pick up a meal.

“Gwinnett County Public Schools encourages families who are eligible for the Free & Reduced Meal Program to complete the annual application to ensure meal benefits continue when this waiver expires,” school system officials said.

The Free & Reduced Meal Program application is available at both the GCPS website or at www.nlappscloud.com.

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I'm a Crawford Long baby who grew up in Marietta and eventually wandered to the University of Southern Mississippi for college. Earned a BA in journalism (double minor in political science and history). Previously worked in Florida and Clayton County.

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