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USDA Extends Free School Meals Through September 30, 2021

Gordon County Schools:

USDA Extends Free School Meals Through September 30, 2021


Calhoun, GA – March 19, 2021


Gordon County Schools is happy to announce that the USDA has extended free meals for all children under 18 until September 30, 2021.  The program was put in place to assist families during the 20-21 school year in response to COVID-19 lockdowns and the resulting economic challenges.  The free meals program was previously authorized through June 30, but has now been extended all the way through the end of September 2021. 


With this program, any child 18 and under (21 and under for special needs students) can receive a free lunch and breakfast every school day.  It is not necessary for children to be registered in Gordon County Schools to receive free meals.  In addition to free meals during the school year, Gordon County School Nutrition will once again operate the Seamless Summer option and provide free meals throughout the summer months.


“We are excited to continue to be able to offer free meals to students and children in Gordon County through the waiver extension from the USDA.  We hope that your children will continue to join us for breakfast and lunch, and we look forward to serving our community for Seamless Summer from June 1st until July 22nd, 2021,” said Nicole Head, School Nutrition Director for Gordon County Schools.


Any family wishing to learn more about how to access the free meals is welcome to call the Gordon County School Nutrition Office at 706-879-5011.


Although this program means that all students will receive breakfast and lunch at no cost, there is still a strong need for all families to submit applications for Free & Reduced Meals.  We encourage parents and guardians to apply, even if they believe they would not qualify.  The number of students determined eligible for Free & Reduced Meals is a vital piece of data for the school system; that number is the basis for Title I funding for enhancements that improve students’ educational outcomes: technology, Internet access, materials, and staffing, just to name a few.


In addition, students that are eligible for Free & Reduced Meals also receive fee waivers for the SAT, ACT, and AP tests and discounts on college application fees.  So, even though students do not need to be eligible to receive free meals through September 30, they still gain many benefits from their eligibility for Free & Reduced.


Perhaps even more importantly, Free & Reduced eligibility will be crucial when the free meals program ends.  It is authorized only through September 30, 2021, so beginning October 1, 2021, students will be required to pay full price for lunches if they do not already have an approved Free & Reduced application on file.


As always, Free & Reduced applications for the new school year will be available and accepted beginning July 1.  After July 1, families can apply for the new school year online at www.schoolcafé.com or with a paper application available at any Gordon County school or from the School Nutrition Office.  Please plan to submit an application for your household this summer.


For more information, please call the School Nutrition Office at 706-879-5011, and see our social media at the following web locations for ongoing School Nutrition news:


Gordon County School Nutrition Facebook page:


Gordon County Schools website: or