SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ — All children 18 years of age and under who are enrolled in Scotch Plains-Fanwood Public Schools are now entitled to receive a free meal at school, thanks to an extension of the 2020 Summer Food Service Program, which is now in effect through June 30, 2021.
“All families are eligible for this program,” SPFK12 superintendent Dr. Joan Mast told TAPintoSPF. “Our food service brought the program to our attention. It is a federal program that we applied for, and the district will get reimbursed for the meals. This can be beneficial to families who might not qualify for free or reduced meals, but who may have fallen on hard times and could use the help.”
“Kids have to sign up and preorder their meals,” Dr. Mast added. “Students in school can pick the meals before they leave to go home for the day. The parents of students who are learning remotely can pick up the meals at the high school.”
Dr. Mast said the Pomptonian, the school district’s catering company, does approximately 35 meals a day, but the number will go higher once people learn that every child is eligible for this program.
Food options include sandwiches and hot menu choices that children can easily heat up when they get home, according to Carmelina Januszanis, supervising accountant for the SPFK12 district, who is overseeing the project. Each meal includes a vegetable, fruit, beverage and a hot meal. If students order breakfast, too, they will be given lunch for today and breakfast for tomorrow.
“This is the first time breakfast is being made breakfast available,” Januszanis said. “Students can’t eat the meals in school; instead they pick it up before they leave. If the student is virtual, there’s a widow outside door number 10 at the high school. The process is not new; this is how we have been serving. Now it’s available to all students.”
The Summer Food Service Program is a federally funded program of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Services. Every child in the district is now able to receive the same free meal — regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, and age — in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.
Meals must be pre-ordered at www.payschoolscentral.com.
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