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USDA extends free meals for students through end of school year

Oct. 20, 2020 - The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that the free meals program for students has been extended through June 30, 2021. It is part of the USDA’s commitment to ensuring access to nutritious food for school children during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Families struggling to make ends meet can be assured that their students will have access to healthy school meals, whether they are learning at home or in school,” said Reggie Ross, president of the School Nutrition Association. “School meal programs can remain focused on safely meeting nutritional needs of children in their communities without having to worry about burdensome regulations.”

Edina students may receive a free breakfast and free lunch at school, if they choose, through EPS Food and Nutrition Services. Student eligibility status is not required, so lunch accounts will not be charged.

Free Meal Pickup/Delivery

Additionally, families experiencing food insecurity may pick up free meals for their students for days their students are not in the school building and learning at home through EVA and the Hybrid Learning Models. Curbside pickup of meals is once a week on Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at EHS Door 15 (behind the building near the dock). Families with transportation challenges may sign up to have meals delivered.

Benefits qualification offers many additional opportunities

Although qualifying for meal benefits is not necessary to receive free meals, it is still very important to complete the meal benefits application as soon as possible! Qualifying for meal benefits also qualifies students for additional benefits, including: free ACT testing; participation in College Possible program; college scholarships; some government benefits; and discounts for things such as Comcast internet service, and tickets to various museums.

You should apply if:

  • Your family qualified for meal benefits last year - a new application must be filed each year.
  • Your family applied last year but not meet income guidelines - the guidelines change each year and you may now qualify.
  • Your household income has been affected by unemployment, health crisis, death or other circumstance.

For more information, links to Benefits Applications Forms and Meal Deliver Request Form, visit