School meals were made available beginning Tuesday, Sept. 8 for all children between 1-18-years-old in Hood River County School District.

A similar program is being done in The Dalles School District, as described in  a summary of all Gorge schools' reopening  steps that ran in the Aug. 26 edition.

During Comprehensive Distance Learning, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has extended waivers for Hood River County School District (HRCSD) to continue serving meals through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), which means HRCSD will provide meals for all children between 1-18 years old. Families will not be responsible for paying for school meals between Sept. 8 and Dec. 31 (or when HRCSD reopens school buildings for students to attend in-person). Children do not need to be enrolled with HRCSD in order to receive school meals. School officially started Sept. 14, but the meal service started Sept. 8, which was the original district start-date.

Children may pick up their meals every morning at the closest bus stop.

Alternatively, children may go to a neighborhood school (Cascade Locks Elementary School, May Street Elementary School, Mid-Valley Elementary School, Parkdale Elementary School, Westside Elementary School, Wy’east Middle School, or Hood River Valley High School) between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. each day to pick up their school meals. Children enrolled at Hood River Middle School or Hood River Options Academy may go to the school closest to their house for meal pick-up.

HRCSD asks that families are flexible with the bus stop meal delivery, particularly at the beginning of the school year. Bus stop times may be variable because the schedule depends on the number of children who are picking up meals at each bus stop. Children and/or families should arrive at the bus stop before the scheduled arrival and wait until the bus arrives.

The bus will not leave before the scheduled time it is supposed to arrive. Children and/or families may review the bus stop delivery schedule on the HRCSD website under “Transportation.” 

Finally, it is important for families to know that only the child and/or their parent/guardian may pick up meals at the bus stop. Children do not need to provide student identification information when they pick up school meals. When parents/guardians pick up meals for children, they will need the student’s school ID number, first and last name, and school enrollment.

Families who plan to pick-up meals (either at a bus stop or at a school) should complete a meal application at their earliest convenience, which can be found on the HRCSD website under “Nutrition Services.” Families do not need to complete a meal application in order for their children to receive school meals; however, it would be helpful for families to complete the meal application for the future when the SFSP expires. 

Contact Heidi Benson, HDirector of Nutrition Services at (email address) or (541) 387- 5011 (office phone) for more information.

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