SPOTSWOOD, NJ - Thanks to the United States Department of Agriculture, all Spotswood School District students will be able to get free lunches until at least December 31. The USDA free meal program that began helping schools across the nation feed children during the summer months has been extended through the fall.

“As our nation reopens and people return to work, it remains critical our children continue to receive safe, healthy, and nutritious food. During the COVID-19 pandemic, USDA has provided an unprecedented amount of flexibilities to help schools feed kids through the school meal programs, and today, we are also extending summer meal program flexibilities for as long as we can, legally and financially,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue in a press release shortly before the start of the school year. “We appreciate the incredible efforts by our school foodservice professionals year in and year out, but this year we have an unprecedented situation. This extension of summer program authority will employ summer program sponsors to ensure meals are reaching all children, whether they are learning in the classroom or virtually, so they are fed and ready to learn, even in new and ever-changing learning environments.”

The Spotswood Board of Education announced on Wednesday that all students will now be able to receive a free lunch and drink. However, the prepackaged lunches for the upcoming week of September 21 must be ordered via a Google form by Friday, September 18. A Google form must be filled out for each student requesting a free lunch. All five prepackaged lunches and beverages will be picked up for the week on Monday, September 21. The prepackaged lunches will be prepared by the district's food service management company, Whitsons.

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Parents can choose to pick up the lunches at either the Memorial Middle School or the Helmetta Community Center. Lunch pick up is between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Monday. Face coverings are required for parents picking up the prepackaged lunches.

Spotswood School District parents with questions about the weekly free lunch distribution can contact Kathy Bonczek at 732-723-2200 extension 5030 or Spotswood School District Business Administrator Vita Marino at extension 5035.