Yes, there is such a thing as a free lunch

Jo Shelver, head cashier at CCSD #1, hands free meals to Alexis and Brandon Wintermote on Sept. 14 outside the Recreational Center at Douglas High School.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a lot of uncertainty around town with energy companies announcing layoffs and people having to take on more than one job to keep up with the bills.

The Douglas School District is ready to alleviate some of the worries, at least when it comes to breakfasts and lunches for children.

“We are so excited to announce that as of Sept. 14 the nutritional services department will again be offering free grab-n-go breakfast/lunch meals to residents of Converse County who are between the ages of 2-18,” Douglas School District Nutritional Services Director Monty Gilbreath said. “If you have a child that is between 2 and 18 they are eligible.”

This includes children who are at home and not already in school, attending day care, Headstart or pre-school, is home or virtually learning or those students in the district who are registered for adaptive learning, according to Gilbreath.

“Special funding has been made possible by the U.S. Department of Agriculture,” he said. “We are so grateful and appreciative and are excited to be able to take care of the children in our community.”

Parents must register their children online at

Curbside pickup is at the Rec Center bus loop area, Monday to Friday from 9-10 a.m.

The Grab-N-Go meals won’t be available on holidays or non-school days and will end Dec. 18.

Free breakfasts and lunches are also available to all district students who attend school in person, according to Gilbreath.

“This will give families with negative meal account balances time to make payments on their account without having to worry about paying for meals this semester,” he said.

All meals will contain the required USDA nutritional components.

“A-la-carte items or seconds will still be charged at the regular price,” he said. “We know how tough it’s been for families in the area and we hope that this alleviates some of the stress that parents can be under when they are feeding their families.”

District employees are not eligible for the free meals and meal accounts with a zero or negative balance will continue to receive automated reminder calls, texts and emails.

“We are very excited about this and hope that parents will take advantage of the program,” Gilbreath said.

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