DMS serves more meals

Students take advantage of free lunches

Isaac Pain, General News Reporter

Because of COVID-19, the U.S. Department of Agriculture of provided a waiver for all students to receive free breakfast and lunch during the 2020-21 school year.

Brenda Young is among the cafeteria workers serving students free breakfasts and lunches. (Isaac Pain)

Initially, the waiver was only to go through December, but it was later extended to provide food through the remainder of the school year. At Duncan Middle School, the cafeteria is providing free lunches for many its students, who choose to go through the lunch line.

“It has got the kids eating in here more, and it has made kids’ parents spend less money on food this year,” cafeteria work Brenda Young said.

Because of the waiver, the cafeteria is not losing income despite providing more free lunches. During the last school year, the Oklahoma State Department of Education‘s child nutrition division worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to set a previous baseline for the percentages of meals provided to children because of the closure of schools across Oklahoma, resulting from COVID-19, according to the State Department’s website.

Prior to the start of the school year, school lunch programs had an application process for people to follow before receiving their discounted lunches. But this year, those free meals are provided to all students.

“I guess (it’s) because of the COVID outbreak,” Young said.

As it stands, the free breakfasts and lunches will run through May 20, which is the last day of school. During the summer, Duncan Public Schools typically runs a summer lunch program.