As school closures continue in Mississippi, the Department of Education is working to ensure that students will continue to receive meals.
The MDE’s Office of Child Nutrition (OCN) has secured two waivers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that will help school districts across the state to establish meal programs while schools are closed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The programs will allow for “non-congregate meals” to avoid large crowds, meaning that the grab-and-go meals will be available. The OCN has implemented an expedited approval process to allow schools to begin serving meals as quickly as possible. Information on the program and a list of schools serving meals may be found at www.mdek12.org/OCN.
The list of schools will be updated regularly as school districts open programs.
According to the MDE, it is at the discretion of each school district whether to serve meals while schools are closed. Districts may choose which schools will serve meals, what meal types will be served, and the times of meal service. Parents should check with their local district for the most current information about meals in their area.
The MDE is in constant communication with schools, USDA, and other stakeholders regarding providing nutritious meals to Mississippi children during this emergency. Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.