The Elk River Area School District has qualified for an extension of the United States Department of Agriculture and Minnesota Department of Education’s free meal program for all currently enrolled ISD 728 students.

This free meal service, which offers breakfast and lunch daily, started on Sept. 16.

The USDA has extended this waiver to assist school districts and households in feeding kids. This benefit has been extended until federal funds are no longer available.

Once the waiver ends, all students will automatically be returned back to their normal lunch status. The district will inform households when this will happen as soon as it is notified.

This USDA-sponsored free meal program is for all currently enrolled ISD 728 students regardless of whether they are participating in face-to-face, hybrid or distance learning models.

The free meal program began with cafeteria service on Sept. 16 for all on-campus students.

Students participating in the hybrid or distance learning models had access to the “Grab-n-Go” meal program starting on Sept. 16. Meals are picked up from 9 to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday at the following locations:

•Elk River High School, 900 School St., Elk River, Door F, located at the back of the building, off Jackson Avenue.

•Rogers High School, 21000 141st Ave., Rogers, Door 10, located near the main entrance toward the end of the circle drive.

•Zimmerman Middle/High School, 25900 Fourth St. W., Zimmerman, Door 10, located at the back of the building.

Due to the timing of the USDA announcement and the application process required for the free meal program, the district did officially begin the school year under the National School Lunch Program and therefore the district will be unable to provide refunds for meals served through Sept. 15 as it was not yet able to provide the Grab-n-Go USDA-sponsored free program to all students.

Parents are asked to complete a free/reduced-price meal application for this school year if they have not done so already. Even though meals are currently free, they will not always be, school officials note.

The application also helps the district qualify for additional funding. By doing this now, school officials say it will make the transition back to a typical meal service easier for families once the federal and state governments announce a change.

Applications can be completed online through Parent Portal. If you have questions regarding Grab-n-Go meal service, contact Michelle Jones at

Load comments