MPCSD approved for federal extended summer lunch program

MT. PLEASANT — Like other districts in southeast Iowa, the Mt. Pleasant Community School District will participate in the extended summer hot lunch program.

The program, recently approved by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, is available to all students in the district regardless of their meal program status. The district applied for the program through the state and was recently approved. The district began providing free lunches this week and will begin the free breakfast program the following Monday.

The temporary program will run through Dec. 31 or until federal funds run out. There is no sign-up necessary for students to participate in the program.

Superintendent John Henriksen said participating in the program, especially in light of the coronavirus pandemic, will “take something else off the plate of families.”

“Even families who are doing well economically, it just takes the whole, ‘Hey, Mom or Dad, I need $20 in my lunch account,’ or ‘my lunch account is negative.’ It removes that burden,” he said.

Students who have chosen the remote learning model will be able to participate in the program. Henriksen said the district has reached out to remote learners who will be able to contact the district’s food services department about their lunch needs. The meals will be prepared, and families will be able to pick them up at a designated time from the middle school.