SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Having a healthy meal to start your day can positively impact how the rest of your day will go. That’s especially true for students while in school. The federal government has extended a program for students to have meals – at no cost. KELOLAND News spoke with the Sioux Falls School District about the extension.

In the 2021, 2022 school year, all students enrolled in the Sioux Falls School District will be able to have access to free meals – that includes both breakfast and lunch.

“Families are still kind of picking up the pieces of the COVID pandemic, others, school meals it’s kind of a struggle sometimes to make ends meet, so this will be a way to offer free meals to all these kids, it will be a great way for us to actually showcase some of the things that we do as we continue to work on our program and enhance our meals,” child nutrition coordinator, Sioux Falls School District, Gay Anderson said.

The program will now run through June of 2022.

“The USDA announced this probably in April to let all the school districts across the country know that we will be able to offer free meals to kids for all of next year,” Anderson said.

But students don’t have to wait until school to have access to free meals.

Right now the Sioux Falls School District is providing free breakfast and lunch at ten sites through July 29th.

“Anyone 18 and under in the public can walk in our doors at breakfast time from 8-9 and at lunchtime 11:30-12:30,” Anderson said.

Because a healthy meal can make a big difference.

“For many kids, we are the one healthy meal, or two healthy meals that they may be getting, so we fill a need there,” Anderson said.

To learn more about the summer food service program and locations, click here.