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Chadron students to receive free meals

Chadron students to receive free meals

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Not going hungry

Students choose their type of pizza during Friday lunch at Chadron Primary. Funding has made it possible for Chadron Public Schools students to receive meals at no cost starting Sept. 14.

With the continuing pandemic taking its toll on the community, particularly when it comes to ensuring students are safe and cared for, it can take a toll on people’s finances. However, Chadron Public Schools this past week was the recipient of two financial assists that will make things easier.

According to a recent release, starting this Monday, Sept. 14, through potentially Dec. 2020 all students will receive free meals at CPS regardless of economic status. Money is provided by the CARES Act and could possibly be depleted before the end of December.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has given guidance that schools can extend the Summer Meal Program in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Meals will include both breakfast and lunch served through the district’s food program. Seconds and a la carte items will still be charged to students’ accounts.

The guidance from the USDA came on Sept. 1, Superintendent Ginger Meyer noted, and the district application was filed. This allowed CPS to start the benefit on Sept. 14. She encourages parents to have their students east at school, and to continue to fill out free and reduced lunch forms as normal. The number of free and reduced lunch allow the district to apply for and reap other benefits.

Meyer is hopeful the news comes as a pleasant surprise “and helps each family financially through these unprecedented times.

The meal support isn’t the only assistance the district has received, as students and staff were provided with free thermometers through a grant that used Keno money. These digital thermometers, manufactured by Kinsa, utilize a smartphone app to help parents track their children’s health and symptoms. They also provide recommendations. The thermometers are a particularly effective tool, as fever is one of the more easily recognized and readable symptoms.

In a message to students, parents and guardians, Meyer expressed her appreciation for honoring the district’s plans and procedures. “It is our aim to partner with you to make sure our students are receiving a high quality education” she stated. “The Covid pandemic has changed out operating procedures. In order to manage these challenges we will continue to evaluate our procedure to make sure our students are safe. We know it will not be perfect, but our goal is to keep in-person instruction happening.”

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