Children 18 years old and younger can receive free breakfast and lunch while schools are closed through the Alachua County Public Schools’ Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) Department.
To help families in need, the department submitted applications to the federal government to provide meals in 73 locations throughout Alachua County. That includes schools, community sites and even stops along school bus routes that serve a large proportion of high-needs students.
The locations are posted on the FNS website at www.yourchoicefresh.com and the district’s main website at www.sbac.edu. (A list of the locations is also attached.) Distribution sites may be revised based on need.
Starting March 30 and running Mondays through Fridays, children will receive a cold, grab-and-go lunch for that day and breakfast for the following morning. At the schools and community sites, meals will be distributed from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. The bus drop off times will vary depending on the stop and route. Families are urged to check the schedule for bus stop distribution.
The district has also received permission from the federal government to provide meals to students to eat over the weekends. Those meals will be given out to students on Fridays.
“Our goal is to serve as many students as possible during this unprecedented situation,” said Maria Eunice, the district’s Director of Food and Nutrition Services. “Our team is committed to helping the children and families in this community because we’re all in this together.”
Children do not have to be enrolled at a particular school or program to receive meals. They also do not have to be eligible for free and reduced price meals during the regular school year to take advantage of the program.
The meals are funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees the school lunch program.