The Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) is now able to distribute federally subsidized student meals at no cost to all children under the age of 18, regardless of whether they live in the District or are enrolled in an SUSD school.
The new flexibility is the result of a policy change by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service and is the result of concerns nationwide that the end of summer meal programs could also end children’s access to nutritious meals. The revised USDA program runs through December 31, 2020, but could be extended.
- Students returning to school campuses in the coming weeks will be able to receive a free breakfast and a free lunch on school days. The meals are provided at no cost and no qualification is necessary.
- Parents of Scottsdale Online students and those remaining in Enhanced Distance Learning for the remainder of the first semester (through Dec. 18, 2020) can pick up a week’s worth of breakfasts and lunches at one of the District meal distribution sites open Wednesdays from 7-9:30 am. Students need not be present to receive the meals, which are provided at no cost, with no qualification necessary.
- Parents of non-SUSD enrolled children and non-enrolled siblings of SUSD students can also pick up a week’s worth of breakfasts and lunches at the seven SUSD distribution sites. Children need not be present to receive the meals, which are provided at no cost, with no qualification necessary.
To accommodate the revised meals program, SUSD is adding two more meal pick-up sites, beginning Sept. 16, so that each SUSD Learning Community has at least one to serve the community. The sites are:
- Mohave Middle School, 8490 E. Jackrabbit Rd., Scottsdale – NEW SITE
- Sequoya Elementary School, 11808 N. 64th St., Scottsdale – NEW SITE
- Oak Campus, 7501 E. Oak St., Scottsdale
- Pima Traditional School, 8330 E. Osborn Rd., Scottsdale
- Redfield Elementary School, 9181 E. Redfield Rd., Scottsdale
- Tavan Elementary School, 4610 E. Osborn Rd., Phoenix
- Yavapai/Hohokam Elementary School, 701 N. Miller Rd., Scottsdale
“The beginning of a new school year does not bring an end to hunger in our community, so this new guidance from the USDA makes it possible for us to help meet child nutrition needs more broadly, not just among school-age children,” says Nutrition Services Director Patti Bilbrey. “SUSD is proud to assist in this vital community effort.”
Because the more flexible USDA program will end at the end of the year, Bilbrey encourages SUSD families to submit an application now so that their students’ free and reduced meal benefits can continue when school reconvenes in January 2021, following Winter Break.
“An application also qualifies SUSD students for other programs,” Bilbrey notes, “including fee reductions for City of Scottsdale athletics and activities, as well as other after-school programs, so there are many good reasons to turn in an application as soon as possible.”