The United States Department of Agriculture has approved continued funding for free meals for children in Polk County through December 31 of this year.

The USDA approval means that all children 18 years of age and under in Polk County may receive free breakfast and lunch, as was the case earlier this year. This program is for any child in any household in Polk County regardless of where they are attend school or their poverty status.

Beginning Wednesday, all breakfast and lunch meals will be free for students learning in-person in Polk County Schools. Those students will receive their meals at no cost each day they attend.

Beginning September 8, Polk County Schools will offer meal pickup for any children who are not in school. This includes remote learners, Wolverine Academy students and younger children not yet of school age. For those students and children, pre-packaged meals – breakfast and lunch for each day – can be picked up from the elementary school in each child’s community.

To make this work efficiently for all, Polk County Schools would like to know how many people are interested in getting these free meals for their children and how best to get the meals to our families. Anyone interested is asked to complete a short survey to help the district know how best to distribute the meals. The survey can be accessed here or at www.polkschools.org. It simply asks if families are interested in receiving free meals and which days and times would be most convenient to pick those up. The district asks that families complete this survey as quickly as possible.

Anyone with questions can contact Child Nutrition Director Jennifer Peeler at 828-894-3051.