The Enumclaw and White River school districts have traditionally served meals to their students, but existing COVID conditions have extended a “free to all” policy.
It was recently announced that both districts will offer two free meals daily – both breakfast and lunch – to any and all students. The ability to provide free meals is a result of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “meal waiver” program, similar to the program that allows district to offer free meals during the summer months when school is not in session.
In both districts, the program will continue for the entire 2021-22 academic year. That’s the policy that was instituted for the pandemic-plagued 2020-21 school calendar.
While meals will be provided to any students who asks, Enumclaw’s Tracy Holyan, who heads the district nutrition program, added a couple of key provisions. Families that previously qualified for “free and reduced price” meal benefits should continue to apply, she said, to continue receiving other district-supported fee reductions and benefits.
The White River website explains that free meals will also be made available to students who will be “distance learning” this year.
Parents can request a meal box for their stay-at-home students, available each Monday between noon and 12:30 p.m. at the school their child would typically attend. Each box will include a week’s worth of breakfast and lunch offerings.
Information about the meal programs can be found on the districts’ websites: enumclaw.wednet.edu (click “district departments” then “nutrition services”) or whiteriver.wednet.edu (click “departments” then “nutrition services”).