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San Diego Unified School District faces school meal cuts

Posted at 6:08 AM, Aug 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-25 09:08:37-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Children in San Diego could soon go without food if the federal government doesn't extend waivers put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. The San Diego Unified School District is warning about that possibility after the U.S. Department of Agriculture ended supplemental food support for local families.

The changes are expected at the end of September. The USDA decided they would end the supplemental support during the pandemic.

After Sept. 30, families will be required to verify identification, proof of school attendance and eligibility to quality for the free family meals. These things were waived in March because of the pandemic.

SD Unified officials say the USDA hasn't responded to their request to extend the waivers.

District officials are taking steps to try and fill in the gaps by working with partners like the San Diego Food Bank and Feeding San Diego.

The district also announced triple the distribution sites, up from 28 to 82. Students or their parents/guardians who qualify for subsidized meals can drive through or walk up to receive breakfast and lunch, Monday through Friday, from noon to 2 p.m. during the 2020-21 school year, which begins on Aug. 31.

The district is also offering assistance to any family that needs help completing the required forms.

The district says they have distributed more than 4 million meals to students since March. They say these meals are often the only quality meal they receive.

ABC 10News reached out to the USDA for comment but so far have not heard back.