Report by Paula Antolini, September 9, 2020, 7:24PM EDT
Message from BPS Superintendent Dr. Christine Carver:
Dear Parents, Guardians, and Staff,
Late yesterday afternoon, the State Department of Education approved Bethel Public Schools to participate in the SSO school meal program, which means beginning immediately all our students and their siblings under the age of 18, regardless of income level, can receive school breakfast and lunch meals for FREE! The program is funded through a Federal grant from the USDA.
This program, which is an extension of the program we offered last spring, will continue through December 31, 2020 or until funding runs out. Therefore, all purchases for meals on Tuesday, September 8th will be credited back to the students’ accounts. Beginning today, no charges will be processed for any meals served, whether the meals are served at school or picked up daily (for students on distance learning).
For those students on distance learning (including those learning from home on hybrid), the hours for pick up at Bethel High School are:
10 AM and 12 PM, Monday-Friday or Monday or
Wednesday evenings from 5:30 to 6:30 PM for families who completed the Evening Pick Up Meal Order Form. If you have not ordered for evening pickup using the form, there will not be meals prepared for you. These evening pickups will be on a reservation only basis.
PLEASE NOTE: You will no longer need to fill out daily hybrid/distance learning meal forms for pickup between 10 a.m. and 12:00 noon as you will be served the meal/meals that have been prepared. Due to the increased volume of meals that will be served under this program, we will not be able to accommodate individual choices at this time. We appreciate your understanding.
As previously stated, all Bethel Public School Students and siblings of Bethel Public School Students age 18 and under are eligible for these free meals. You do not need to have been approved for the traditional free or reduced meal program. The only charges will be for a la carte and snack items purchased by in-person learning students.
We still encourage families who qualify to apply for the traditional free and reduced meal program for two reasons. First, when this SSO program ends we will revert back to the rules of the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program and charges will resume unless you are approved under these programs. Also, you may want to complete an Addendum A where if you qualify for the traditional free or reduced meal program you may also have some school fees waived or reduced.
Again, this program is currently scheduled to end on December 31, 2020 or sooner if the USDA funding runs out. We will keep all families informed as to the ending date once we are notified. In the meantime, we are happy to provide good, nutritious meals to all at no charge. If you have any questions, please contact our Food Service Director, Amanda Riley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christine L. Carver, Ed. D.
Superintendent of Schools