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CCSD to provide free meals to all students

By Thomas Ranson thomasranson.lvn@gmail.com
Churchill County School District has implemented changes with food services for the year.
Steve Ranson/LVN

No student will go hungry during the upcoming school year. 
During the Aug. 12 school board meeting, Churchill County School District approved going forward with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), which allows the district to serve all grades PK-12 with breakfast and lunch free of charge to the families.
This program begins with the first day of school on Tuesday.
“I’m so excited. I’m just hoping more kids for whatever reason who don’t take advantage will take advantage,” school board trustee Phil Pinder said. “The bottom line for me is I want as many kids fed on a daily basis as possible.”
In addition to the CEP being a victory for the families, the USDA provision allows the district to be fully reimbursed for 85 percent of all meals served, regardless of student eligibility for free and reduced meals. The district is also restricted from charging fees, which will reduce the costs of administering meal fees and pursuing collections of unpaid fees. The district is not locked into a contract and may cancel or participate at any time. CCSD can lock in a rate for four years. 
Pinder said the food program is important because of how families may have been affected financially with the pandemic. 
“There’s going to be shortage here for a lot of families and families that can normally make it,” he said. “I like to think that the idea behind this whole thing is we need to help the communities, the families and people affected economically.”
Families do not need to apply to enroll in the program but if they do not wish to participate, they will need to inform their child(ren)’s teacher. 
The daily menus will be available through Nutrislice, found on the District website, beginning Monday.

Food services for hybrid learning students
Each school or site will have regular breakfast and lunch available for all students with the morning session’s students getting a sack meal with their lunch and a breakfast for the next day. The afternoon session’s students will get a sack meal with their breakfast and lunch for the following day. Sack meals on Friday will be provided for Monday. 
The school district said that later in the school year if it’s safe to do so, Churchill County High School and Churchill County Middle School may offer additional options when students will be able to add funds to their accounts.  
Food will be available for all students on the first day of school, but the district is advising families to send a message to their child’s teacher if they do not want to take advantage of the CEP. The school district said that they will reinforce this process at school but want to ensure that all students are fed each day. The meal program is free for all students of CCSD. 
The district’s food service is also working with large childcare facilities in Fallon regarding how these changes may affect children who attend these facilities and how they will receive their meals. The school nurses will also be involved and continue to understand which children have allergies or special needs related to the meals.

Food services for full-time remote students
Students in the full-time remote learning group will also be able to take advantage of the free meal program. 
Families can pick up multiple-day meals via drive through on Monday and Wednesday of each week, beginning Monday at either Numa Elementary from 9-10 a.m. near the north side of the kitchen entrance, Northside Early Learning Center from 9-10 a.m. in the south side parking lot or Churchill County High School from 9-9:30 a.m. in the north parking lot. 
Specific questions are to be directed at the Food Service department by calling 775-428-2700. Additional information will be available on the reopening schools’ website.