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All Aiken County students receive free school meals this semester

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AHS Meal Distribution 36.jpg (copy)

In this file photo, Aiken County Public Schools' employees fill bags with enough breakfast and lunch food for two days for students earlier this year. Thanks to a new program students can receive one free lunch and one free breakfast per school day until Dec. 31, unless USDA funds are depleted before that date.

Students in Aiken County Public Schools can eat school meals for free this fall thanks to a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Both Aiken Innovate and hybrid model students can receive one free lunch and one free breakfast per school day until Dec. 31, unless USDA funds are depleted before that date, according to a school district news release.

Any meal fees paid or applied since Sept. 1 will be credited to students' accounts or refunded upon request from parents or guardians, according to the release.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer one free breakfast and one free lunch to each student in our school district each school day through this USDA waiver,” Karen Johnson, school district food services director, said in the release. “This waiver will allow our students to access nutritious meals each day with no financial costs whatsoever to our families.”

Families will still need to pre-order school meals online with links available on the school district's Food Services homepage.

Aiken Innovate meals are available for grab-and-go pickups from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, with the option to take home two days' worth of meals on Thursdays.

Students in the hybrid model can take home three days' worth of school meals on the second day they attend school each week. That's Tuesdays for the Blue Cohort, Thursdays for the Red Cohort.

For more updates and information from the Aiken County Public School District, visit acpsd.net.

Blakeley Bartee covers the education beat at the Aiken Standard. She graduated from Georgia Southern University in 2020. You can follow her on Twitter: @blakeleybartee.

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