Public schools across Hawaii will continue serving free “grab-and-go” meals to all students through June 30, after the U.S. Department of Agriculture extended funding for the program.
The meals are available to children ages 18 and younger, regardless of where they attend school. They are being distributed at 203 public schools at lunchtime and include lunch plus breakfast for the next day.
“This program supports our effort to serve nutritious meals to public school children who may not have access to balanced meals outside of school,” First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige said. “Many families have lost jobs or experienced a decrease an employment, so school meals are more important now than ever.”
Bernina Valdez, a working mother, said the meal service at Wahiawa Elementary has been a boon to her family.
“The drive-up line moves quickly because there are about four to five school staff members helping and they are always wearing their masks, so that makes me feel even better,” Valdez said. “I’m very appreciative of the service being provided free of charge and for the convenience it provides me as I am constantly trying to juggle my work schedule with my kids’ schedules.”
Families collecting meals must wear masks and practice physical distancing. Meals may be picked up without children present but if so, parents or guardians need need to show documentation for their child, such as a student ID card, birth certificate, attendance or enrollment records.
In October, the Grab and Go program served more than 700,000 free breakfast and lunches to students in Hawaii.
Serving times vary by campus, and meals are not available during holidays or school breaks. A list of participating schools and more information is available online at 808ne.ws/meals.