USDA to allow free school lunch in North Carolina |

USDA to allow free school lunch in North Carolina

As President Donald Trump visited hurricane-damaged areas in North Carolina Wednesday, the Agriculture Department announced that school meals will be free for all students in affected disaster areas through Oct. 26.

This and additional measures will potentially benefit 31 school districts and more than 284,000 children, USDA said.

“During a storm like this, the state may face transportation challenges, or need to divert food inventories to other disaster response efforts. We are providing this flexibility to help schools provide wholesome meals to students using the foods they have available,” said USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue.

Schools and facilities in the disaster areas also can temporarily serve meals that vary from menu planning or meal pattern requirements through October 19, USDA said. The state may also designate schools and other facilities as emergency shelters, which may provide meals through USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program.

USDA said it has allowed the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina to operate summer meal programs during unanticipated school closures, and may serve meals that vary from the program’s regular standards. Due to the damage to roadways, communities, and other infrastructure, the food bank may also allow children to take meals home to eat through Sept. 30.

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