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Changes Coming to School Meals Distribution Process


August 28, 2020 – Starting Sept. 1, the process to pick up student meals will look different than it has since March, when the pandemic closed schools across the country.

Meals will be available from 11 a.m. to noon at all GCS schools. Families can pick up lunch and breakfast for the following day. They can pick up meals from any GCS school. Families do not have to go to the school(s) their children attend to pick-up meals.

To prevent any interruption in service, parents/guardians are encouraged to apply for meal benefits for the 2020-21 school year by filling out the application at

The changes outlined above are due to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s decision to require states to shift from summer meal distribution, which was extended through August 31, to the National School Lunch Program.

While North Carolina applied for waivers to allow for more flexible meal distribution plans, thus far, those waivers have not been granted. As of last spring, more than 66% of GCS students qualified for free- or reduced-price meals.

“We encourage educators, parents and community leaders to contact their representatives in Congress and urge them to take action to make it easier for families to access the food their children so desperately need,” said Superintendent Sharon L. Contreras. “Hungry children simply don’t learn as well, and poor nutrition in childhood can have lifelong consequences.”

For the latest on reopening schools, visit