USDA Extends Free Meals for Students, Adds Lunch Pick-Up Time


Photo By Katelyn Newton

Nutrition services waits for customers in the small gymnasium. Meal services are available Monday through Friday in the mornings.

Katelyn Newton, Mirada Staff

The US Department of Agriculture extended the free meal period to honor economic hardships due to COVID-19 for all children ages 0-18.

Meals will continue to be available at Rio Americano from 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Mondays through Fridays. These services will be closed on holidays and non-instruction days, however.

Lunch time services will also be available on campus starting Tuesday Sept. 8 from 12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. For the safety of the community, please wear masks when picking up meals.

With the extension of the free meals, families will be issued new green validation forms. These forms can be used as validation of the number of meals to pick up for parents picking up food without their students present.

These forms can be obtained in one of two ways. Parents may bring the letter issued to the family by Nutrition Services in Aug. to their closest pick-up site and a new green validation form will be granted based on the number of students listed on the old letter.

Or, alternatively, if a parent brings the letter in addition to any other children who are in need of a meal, the staff will issue a green validation form based on the number of children present. After the form is obtained, children will not need to accompany their parent to meal pick-up, as long as their guardian brings the green form.

For more information on alternative meal distribution centers visit the following website:

Further questions can be directed to Nutrition Services at 916-971-7026 or