Following an announcement made this summer by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), the Lunch on Us program is pivoting to a curbside meal distribution model. The free meal program attempts to ensure all children ages 2 to 18 are receiving meals over the summer.
Beginning Monday, July 18, almost all Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) Lunch on Us meal sites will no longer serve hot meals that must be consumed onsite. A time change will also go into effect on Monday for curbside distribution. Adults can pick up meals at eight curbside sites from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday. All CCPS meal sites will be closed on Tuesday, July 19, to accommodate primary election locations.
Curbside distribution will be available at all current Lunch on Us sites except for the one at Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Elementary School. The Mt. Hope site will continue to serve hot meals under the Lunch on Us model, as that program includes limited bus transportation for children to attend. Children attending the Mt. Hope site for meals will also receive a free breakfast. The time change will not impact the Mt. Hope site, which will continue to serve meals from noon to 1 p.m.
The curbside summer meals distribution is reminiscent of the meal programs held during 2020 and 2021, with adults picking up a meal bag with breakfast and cold lunch. If the child is not present at pickup, the adult must show proof of the child’s age to Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) workers at the site.
A child’s proof of age can be shown using a ParentVue account, birth certificate or report card. To ensure proof of age is easily accessible, organizers suggest parents take a photo on their phone of the proof of age document that they can quickly show FNS staff.
U.S. Congress recently passed the bipartisan Keep Kids Fed Act (S. 2089) with the USDA and MSDE announcing three waivers allowing school meal sites to distribute meals curbside. This change is meant to reduce the impact of the loss of child nutrition waivers that were set to expire on June 30.
Curbside distribution operates from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., Monday-Thursday. Pick-up sites are:
- Indian Head Elementary School, 4200 Indian Head Highway, Indian Head.
- Dr. Samuel A. Mudd Elementary School, 820 Stone Ave., Waldorf.
- Dr. Thomas L. Higdon Elementary School, 12872 Rock Point Road, Newburg.
- John Hanson Middle School, 3165 John Hanson Drive, Waldorf.
- Mattawoman Middle School, 10145 Berry Road, Waldorf.
- Milton M. Somers Middle School, 300 Willow Lane, La Plata.
- St. Charles High School, 5305 Piney Church Road, Waldorf.
- Westlake High School, 3300 Middletown Road, Waldorf.