OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Although schools across the state haven’t been in session for a month, state leaders say they have still been able to feed their students.
According to new numbers from the Oklahoma State Department of Education, Oklahoma schools served more than 1.7 million meals to students between March 23 and March 31.
“Our schools have responded in extraordinary ways to the myriad uncertainties posed by a global pandemic,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister. “These incredible efforts by child nutrition workers and school leaders to bring millions of meals to kids since March 23 is further evidence that educators instinctively put kids first. I am thankful and humbled by their work.”
The meals were served at 645 sites across 406 school districts.
Under a waiver granted in March by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, all students across the state have access to two free meals a day under the Seamless Summer Option program or the Summer Food Service Program.
Previously, districts could provide free meals only if 50% of students at a school met eligibility for the free and reduced-price lunch program.
Hofmeister says she hopes additional districts continue their summer programs after distance learning ends for the current school year.
“With district meal programs around the state up and running during this period of distance learning, I encourage school leaders to keep the momentum going and sustain these valuable programs through the summer,” Hofmeister said. “Our communities have been hit hard by this pandemic, and many families are struggling. Providing meals to students this summer is a tangible support we can give families amid so much uncertainty and challenge.”