NCSS Extends Free Meal Program Through December

NCSS to Extend Free Meal Program Through December
Posted on 09/09/2020
twins holding bagged meals in front of school bus with school nutrition workerNewton County School System (NCSS) will continue its Free Meal Distribution Program through December 2020 after U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will extend several flexibilities to school districts through December 31, 2020. The flexibilities allow summer meal program operators like the Newton County School System School Nutrition Program to continue serving free meals to all children into the fall months.

“As our nation reopens and people return to work, it remains critical our children continue to receive safe, healthy, and nutritious food. During the COVID-19 pandemic, USDA has provided an unprecedented amount of flexibilities to help schools feed kids through the school meal programs, and today, we are also extending summer meal program flexibilities for as long as we can, legally and financially,” said Secretary Perdue. “We appreciate the incredible efforts by our school foodservice professionals year in and year out, but this year we have an unprecedented situation. This extension of summer program authority will employ summer program sponsors to ensure meals are reaching all children – whether they are learning in the classroom or virtually – so they are fed and ready to learn, even in new and ever-changing learning environments.”

“School Nutrition Association greatly appreciates USDA addressing the critical challenges shared by our members serving students on the frontlines these first weeks of school. These waivers will allow school nutrition professionals to focus on nourishing hungry children for success, rather than scrambling to process paperwork and verify eligibility in the midst of a pandemic," said School Nutrition Association (SNA) President Reggie Ross, SNS. "We look forward to continuing our dialogue with USDA to ensure school meal programs are equipped to meet the future needs of America’s students.”

“We are very thankful for the USDA’s decision to allow us to continue our Free Meal Distribution Program through the remainder of the year,” said Abdul Lindsay, NCSS Director of School Nutrition. “We know the important role nutrition plays in a child’s education and we want to ensure that no child goes hungry in Newton County. This decision allows us to provide a variety of healthy meals to children in Newton County.”

“We know there is a definite need in our community for this program as last week alone, NCSS delivered 57,294 free meals to children in Newton County,” added Dr. Michael Barr, NCSS Chief Operations Officer. “There are many families in our community who don’t qualify for free meals but still are experiencing difficulty making ends meet. Being able to continue our Free Meal Program means that’s one less thing parents have to worry about.”

Barr encouraged all Newton County School System parents to download the district’s free MyStop App to track the school bus during week days as the app will display the current location of the bus and its estimated arrival time at the nearest bus stop.

According to NCSS Operations Technology Coordinator, DeAnna Joiner, the free My Stop App is accessible from a smartphone or tablet as well as a desktop computer. From a smartphone or tablet, parents should access the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store and search for the “Versatrans My Stop”. Open the app, select “Newton County School System (Georgia)” and enter the student’s information. The username is the student's ID number and password is date of birth in (MMDDYYYY) format. From a desktop computer, parents may visit the following link to sign into the web-based software: If you have any questions about the My Stop App, please email [email protected].

Parents may visit the following link for additional login instructions at

For more information, contact the NCSS School Nutrition Program at 770-788-3120.