The Secretary of the Department of Education, Eligio Hernández Pérez, announced today that from next September 28 all minors between one and 18 years They will be able to benefit from the lunches prepared by the school canteens, regardless of whether or not they are enrolled in the public education system.
Hernández Pérez explained that the extension is due to the fact that as a result of the pandemic, the program Food and Nutrition Services The federal Department of Agriculture granted a waiver to extend the Summer Food Service Program that is traditionally offered during the months of June to July, and which is extended to all children and youth on the Island.
“The summer program is much more flexible than the regular one and therefore we can offer lunch services to all minors on the island. The only requirement is that an adult stop by the school and pick it up. To safeguard the protection of all, it will continue to be offered in the modality grab and go or ready and go “, the headline explained in written statements.
“We have more opportunities to increase participation because there are fewer restrictions and I trust that it will be of more benefit to the families who are at home collaborating with distance education,” he said.
The fathers, mothers or guardians of any minor may go through any of the more than 650 open school canteens near your residence and collect the rations. From now on, it will not be necessary to request the service in writing (form or parental commitment) or provide a student number and not take the minor with you. With this waiver, the extension will be in effect until December 31, 2020.
At the moment, only lunch will be served, but if demand increases, breakfast will be considered.
The secretary recalled that during the past summer months, school cafeteria employees made and distributed between 70,000 and 80,000 services a day, while during the regular program that began on August 31, the demand has been between 24,000 and 30,000 lunches a day, so he considers that demand will increase from now on.
About the pick up time, Hernández Pérez indicated that the School Food Authority recommends that they be delivered between 10:30 am and 12:30 pm or between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm, but each school director may establish schedules according to the particularities of their community . He emphasized that, due to health provisions, delivery should not exceed two hours.
As for the employees of school canteens, they are already working assigned to different campuses and as a result of this they will not undergo changes in their working hours, said the secretary.
Sponsors are invited to participate
Likewise, the Chief of Education called on all the sponsors that are traditionally part of this effort to participate in the extension of the Summer Food Services Program.
Organizations that wish to participate in the delivery of services should contact the School Food Authority corresponding to their regional educational office (ORE).