School lunch program begins for all students on break

Starting Monday, all South Whidbey children will be able to receive “grab and go” lunches from the school district.

According to a letter from Superintendent Jo Moccia, the free meals will be prepared in the South Whidbey High School kitchen with curbside pick-up between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. every day during the week.

Federal regulations require that children must be present to take the meals home.

“The district is following the request of the governor and providing this from the district as we typically do on a daily basis,” Moccia said in an email.

For those who cannot pick up the lunches, they will be delivered at stops along the school bus routes.

Besides students enrolled in the district, kids who are home-schooled or attend private schools can also sign up to receive the meals free of charge.

Parents must make reservations for their kids to receive the meals by filling out a Google survey, The link is also in the letter from Moccia.

If the link cannot be accessed, contact the school district’s food service director, Rachael Mathews, at 360-221-0617 or to place a request.

Requests must be made no later than the Friday before a new week begins.

The school district is continuing to work with a contractor to manage school meals, although staff will be preparing the lunches still.

“At this point, the state has stated they will continue the district’s apportionment payments, revenue,” Moccia said in an email. “As long as this continues, the district does not anticipate an affect on the budget caused by the virus outbreak.”

The meals are supplemented by produce grown on Whidbey farms and from the school gardens.

During this time the school district recommends also contacting Whidbey Island Nourishes and the Good Cheer Food Bank for assistance. Many South Whidbey organizations have been working together to provide food for community members in need.