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Grab-and-go meals resume for all keiki at Hawaii public schools

Children 18 years and younger may pick up free grab-and-go meals at 203 public schools across the state today through Dec. 18, whether or not they attend the school.

“Parents left unemployed or underemployed due to COVID-19 may be faced with significant shortfalls to the family budget, ” Hawaii’s First Lady Dawn Ige said in an announcement today. “Getting free breakfast and lunch for their children at school can make a big difference.”

The Department of Education program is paid for through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer School Service Program, which recently extended funding through the end of the semester.

Meals may be picked up at curbside only at lunch time. Each child will receive a lunch for that day and a breakfast for the following day. The program is open to all children, regardless of income or where they attend school.

“We are excited to be starting up this program again, as it proved extremely successful over the summer, and we know it helps to fill a critical need in our communities,” Deputy Superintendent Phyllis Unebasami said. “Consistent daily nutrition is so important for the continued growth and development of our keiki, especially during these challenging times.”

Meals will be offered Monday through Friday, except for holidays and school breaks. They may be picked up on a drive-thru or walk-up basis, but dining in is not an option. Parents should contact their local school for pick-up times.

Masks must be worn at all times and social distancing is required. Children do not need to be present, but if they are not, parents or guardians must provide documentation for them, such as a birth certificate, identification card or emailed record of enrollment or attendance.

A list of participating schools and more information is posted online.

The Hawaii Department of Education provided more than 1.3 million free breakfasts and lunches through the grab-and-go program from March 23 to July 17.

Meals at schools that aren’t in the grab-and-go program will be available at regular serving times and pricing.

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