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Students will still receive school lunch even if schools close

On Wednesday, the USDA approved the Maine Dept. of Education to allow schools to still provide lunch to students who need it.

NEWPORT, Maine — Cancelations seem to be pouring in from concerns of COVID-19.

While no elementary and middle schools in Maine have canceled yet, officials are making sure students who receive aid will still be getting their meals. 

"We are now going to be able to use the summer feeding program if there is a school closure," RSU 19's director of child nutrition, David Leighton said.

He told NEWS CENTER Maine 56% of students in the district receive some kind of food aid and 70% of students at one particular school in the district.

"And to have a sudden shutdown or anything like that. It's going to impact the families completely," he said.

On Wednesday evening, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a statewide waiver.

It covers all the students who get aid will still get lunch even if schools close due to COVID-19.

But if schools are closed to support social distancing, how will districts feed the students if they aren't there? Superintendent Mike Hammer and his team are working on a plan.

"What we would do is we would work with the transportation department and set up our bus routes," Hammer said.

Hammer said drivers would simply drop the meals off at the various bus stops.

There's no word on if or when schools will close here in Maine... but if they do... officials are making plans to keep students and faculty safe and healthy.

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