Return to Headlines

USDA Grants School Nutrition Flexibility

August 31, 2020 GCS families can breathe a little easier, now that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has extended waivers granting districts flexibility in how schools distribute and pay for student meals.

Today, the USDA announced that districts may continue to operate through Dec. 31, 2020, under the summer nutrition guidelines, which will allow GCS to serve meals to all students without charge.

This makes it easier for families to access the food their children need but it does not bring a resolution to the larger issue of meal participation. Revenue shortfalls to cover fixed costs also need to be addressed.

Meals will be available Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to noon at all GCS school sites. Families can visit any school to pick up the meals, which include breakfast and lunch.

“This is a victory for our schools and for our families, and I am grateful to those who advocated so that GCS and other districts across the country could continue to feed children,” said Superintendent Sharon L. Contreras.

Parents are still encouraged to fill out a meal benefits application at, in preparation for when the waivers expire at the end of December. Parents may reapply at any time during the year if their financial situation changes.

For the latest on reopening schools, visit