Families can still receive free meals for children ages 1–18 through June 24 as the Scottsdale Unified School District Nutrition Services Department will extend the program for five weeks after the last day of school and expand the amount of food provided at each weekly distribution.
Beginning May 20, families can receive seven days of breakfasts and lunches for every child, up from five days’ worth, according to a press release.
“We worked with our suppliers to be able to secure enough food to keep the program going through June and to make sure that we provided food for the weekends, as well,” Nutrition Services Director Patti Bilbrey said in a prepared statement.
“We know that families in our community continue to have a need. This week, we served 19,820 meals. That puts us over the 130,000 mark for the number of meals distributed since we began this curbside service the week of March 16.”
The free meals are distributed weekly, from 8–10 a.m. Wednesdays in a drive-up service at six different SUSD school parking lots. Starting with the May 20 distribution, adults can pick up a total of 14 meals per child each week: seven breakfasts and seven lunches.
Schools hosting the curbside meal distribution service include:
“We also want to remind families that it is not too late to submit an application for free-and-reduced meals for their students,” Ms. Bilbrey said.
“Families that have had a change in their income or employment status can immediately submit an application by going to our website: www.susd.org/Meals. We are still taking applications for the current school year. The application for next school year will be available in July. However, the meal status as of the last day of school, May 21, will roll over to next year for a grace period of 30 days, or until a new application is submitted.”
Ms. Bilbrey said once a family can demonstrate that it is eligible to receive free-or-reduced-cost meals, it may also be eligible for additional state or federal aid.
The SUSD Nutrition Services Department provides written letters of eligibility that families can use to help them qualify for other government and community-based aid programs.
“My best advice to families is to fill out our free application right away,” Ms. Bilbrey said.