Column: Free meal service available for all District 518 students
WORTHINGTON — School districts function as the centers of communities and provide many critically important services to district residents. Beyond the obvious of providing education for young students and classes through the community education programs available, ISD 518 also assists with community needs such as child care, counseling services, extracurricular activities and meal service.
District 518’s food service department functions year-round to provide access to nutritious meals for students in the district. Throughout the school year, the district serves breakfast and lunch for a small price (which may be reduced up to being free if certain requirements are met by families). The meals service does not stop there, however. In non-school summer months, the food service department sets up distribution sites across the town of Worthington and distributes meals to children free of cost.
Continuing on with its mission to provide meals with as little barriers as possible, the ISD 518 food service department has shifted its model of funding to allow all students at ISD 518 to eat without charge until Dec. 31 or until the funding pool is depleted. This shift to the Summer Food Service Program funding model was allowed by a nationwide waiver issued from the USDA and the Minnesota Department of Education Food and Nutrition Service.
Meals for an entire week may be picked up at district facilities on Mondays from 9 to 10 a.m. or from 5 to 6 p.m. The sites of distribution are determined by parent/guardian last name. Last names beginning with A through G may pick up their meals at the front door of Prairie Elementary. Last names beginning with H through M may pick up their meals at the front door of Worthington Middle School. Last names beginning with N through Z may pick up their meals at the front door of Worthington High School. Please continue to respect social distancing guidelines at meal distribution sites.
ISD 518 strongly encourages all families who may qualify for Educational Benefits to continue to fill out and submit the Free and Reduced Lunch form. The form is available on the District 518 website under the “Resources” section of any of the schools’ pages and the district office’s page.
Parker Sandhurst is District 518's communications coordinator.