SCARBOROUGH — Originally set to expire on Dec. 31, federal food program waivers providing no-cost meals, have been extended to June 30.

The USDA Summer Food Service Program and Seamless Summer Option programs have been providing any child, whether or not they are in school, free breakfasts and lunches, said Kate Bolton, director of business and finances for Scarborough Public Schools, on Oct. 15.

An Oct. 16 newsletter from the district said this allows the statewide packaging and preparation of food to continue.

“The waiver extensions allow school nutrition teams across the state to continue to prepare and package food for all students, whether in person or remote, and to set up food delivery service with school transportation teams as needed to ensure families have safe options for receiving food during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the newsletter said.

Orders can be placed at

When the pandemic forced schools to close in March, many in the community had concerns about food insecurity, and the USDA “stepped up” over the summer, Bolton said.

The federal program has few restrictions in terms of how the community is fed, she said.

“We’re currently preparing seven days worth of meals for families to take home,” Bolton said. “… They’ve pivoted to this remarkable takeout script system where they’re packaging everything individually for kids. They’re delivering orders, taking orders online. There’s no money changing hands, all touchless ordering. I think they’ve created this amazing system and it’s working really well.”

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