UPDATE: Free school meals available through the end of 2020 or until federal funding runs out.
The United States Department of Agriculture has extended free meal benefits to all students through Dec. 31 or until the money runs out — whichever comes first. Westerville City Schools is committed to keeping families informed of the status of the program as soon as information becomes available.
As a result, school meals students eat at school will be free until the program ends.
To receive free meals during virtual instruction, families NEED to complete the Westerville City Schools Opt-In Form for Weekly Meal Bags. (See below.) This form only needs to be filled out once and can be canceled at any time by emailing Food Services at email@example.com.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who is eligible for the free meal benefit?
All WCSD students in grades K-12 are eligible.
Do I need to qualify for these meals?
No. Every meal will be free until the USDA tells us otherwise. They will receive their free meals during regular in school breakfast and lunch and follow regular building lunch or breakfast instruction.
What is Opt-In and how do I do it?
Families need to opt in to receive free meals during virtual instruction (blended for weeks they are at home or in WVA). See the Cohort Information and Opt-In form below.
If we already signed up for virtual learning lunches, will we need to sign up again?
What meals are included in the free meal benefit?
Breakfast and a “meal deal” lunch, which includes a main item (protein and grain), veggies, and or fruit and milk. The food service staff at your school can help students identify what is included and there are multiple signs in all cafeteria. Most children that have eaten in our cafeterias understand this process. It's practiced at all levels elementary, middle and high school.
Do a la carte options count?
No. Students will have to pay for a la carte items, which include extra meal servings, chips, ice cream, specialty drinks, bottled water, etc.
How does the meal pick-up work? Do we still pick up food, but every other week now?
Students will take home their weekly allotment of meals on the Friday while they are in the building before they start their week of virtual learning.
- Cohort A&B - High school and middle school students bring home food on Fridays. Elementary schools are working with the Food Service Department on details on how the food comes home from each school and may be split for a couple of days.
- Cohort OL / WVA Food is picked up by the parent at the child's school on Fridays at a specified time. Times depend on the building but currently most pick up are in the mornings due to the high afternoon traffic. Emails will be sent out weekly to remind parents of places and times.
- Cohort C eats at school. Their breakfast and lunches are free at school but will not have an option to take food home.
If I have multiple children in WVA can we pick up at one location?
Yes. Contact ThomasRL@wcsoh.org and we will work with you to make that happen.
Will we be notified if funding stops and will I be responsible for the meals price after that?
The USDA has told us they will give us notice if the funds are close to being depleted. Once the program stops families will go back to the status of full pay, or free or reduced if they have submitted an application this school year and have already been approved. As of October 1, 2020, any family that has not submitted a free- and reduced-meals application for this year will revert back to full pay.
Should I still submit a free and reduced lunch application?
Yes. This latest benefit of all meals being free will eventually go away and a family’s status will revert back to full pay or free and reduced depending on application approval.
If I have already been approved for free and reduced lunch do I still need to fill out the Opt-In form?
Yes. If you want to receive meals during virtual learning, fill out the Opt-In form. It is a different process from the application.
What happens to the funds in my kids’ lunch account?
The funds will remain in your child's account until this program has ended and the child will then start using the funds again or they can be used by your student to purchase a la carte items.
Can I opt-out of the virtual meal pick up?
Yes. Submit your request to opt-out at any time to ThomasRL@wcsoh.org
Are there menus available?
Yes. Go to www.nutrislice/westerville to see your menus, nutritional facts, allergens and carb intakes. This shows weekly food for opt-in meals and in-school meals. Menus are subject to change due to the pandemic and changes in the distribution of certain products. Menus will be updated daily as needed.
Contact Food Services at 614-797-5993 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.