BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The East Baton Rouge Parish School System (EBRPSS) is preparing to provide access to free breakfast and lunch for all its students.
“We have been very successful and we have served thousands and thousands of meals all summer, so we look forward to the beginning of the school year,” said Nadine Mann, director of child nutrition.
Mann says they’re focused on continuing to provide meals to students for the entire school year.
“We will be able to reach all of our children. There will be plenty of food for those who are enrolled in EBR,” said Mann.
School kitchens will reopen for cooks to prepare hot meals free of charge. Parents will continue picking up meals directly from the school, however, Mann says they’re currently looking into delivery options. While using school buses for delivery was at the top of the list, the health department ruled that out.
“At first they said no, that we couldn’t do it because some of our items are refrigerated. So we won’t have that opportunity. We would have to use ice chest and there’s a timing issue, so there’s some red tape about getting that done,” said Mann.
Mann says it will likely be at least a month into the school year before any delivery decision is approved. Still, the ultimate goal is to make sure no student goes hungry.
“We want to serve meals to kids. We want to make sure that any child enrolled in EBR has a meal: breakfast and lunch. If the mom is trying to work or maybe she’s unemployed at this time, it’s a big struggle, so this fills the gap for the parents,” Mann said.
Mann says students participating in face-to-face learning will have the option to eat at school and/or take meals home during virtual learning.
In Ascension Parish, free and reduced lunch applications are now available online. Officials say it is important for every eligible family to complete an application, even if your school offers free meals. Click here for more.
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