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Washington top school official says students can continue receiving free meals

The program has been expanded through Dec. 31, or until funds run out, allowing kids to get free meals during the fall, even if they're learning remotely.

Editor's note: The above video aired in March.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has extended waivers that allow children ages 18 years and younger to continue receiving breakfast and lunch at no cost through the end of December 2020.

With these waivers, Washington state schools can continue providing healthy, nutritious meals at no cost to all students who need them, according to the state's Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). 

RELATED: Local superintendents push federal government to ensure free meals for kids continue this fall

Schools can continue using the processes they developed last spring, which resulted in more than 28 million meals being served to students who were learning at a distance, according to OSPI said.

"This pandemic requires our education system to be flexible and innovative in order to respond to student needs. I’m grateful to the advocates across the state who pushed for these waiver extensions with us. Washingtonians are working hard together to ensure our most vulnerable students and families have the food they need," said state Superintendent Chris Reykdal.

The Summer Food Service Program has been expanded through Dec. 31, or until funds run out.

RELATED: Parents concerned over free school meals running out in Kent