In the wake of both the COVID-19 pandemic and Hurricane Laura, many families in Beauregard Parish now qualify for assistance in the recovery process through the Beauregard Parish School Board Title I and School Food Services programs, according to Margie Hieronymus, BPSB Title I Director, and Terrie Smith, BPSB SFS Director.
Beginning immediately, all students in Beauregard Parish schools will eat free in school cafeterias for both breakfast and lunch through December 2020, according to Smith.
A waiver with the USDA pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic is making this program available to all students, and there is no application necessary.
“All students who participate in the school breakfast and lunch programs from now through December will automatically receive those meals for free,” she explained. “Our School Food Service staff cook hot meals on site and follow nutrition guidelines designs to help our students eat healthily and function optimally through the school day. We encourage all students to participate in the school breakfast and lunch program.”
In addition to this USDA program, all households receiving free or reduced lunch benefits qualify for Pandemic SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). Those families who did not previously apply for P-SNAP can do so through Sept. 29.Go to http://www.dss.state.la.us/page/93 for information and application.
Due to Hurricane Laura, Disaster SNAP (DSNAP) benefits are currently available to qualifying household. Applications are due Sept. 23. Go to http://dcfs.louisiana.gov/page/dsnap for information and application.
Students of families who have been displaced or who have lost their homes due to Hurricane Laura may qualify for homeless assistance through the Title I program.
“The BPSB Title I office oversees the federal homeless program for our schools which can provide assistance with school supplies, uniforms, and school fees,” explained Hieronymus. “The definition of homelessness in this program is broadly defined and may include families who are not able to live in their home at this time because of hurricane damage.”
Applications for the homeless assistance are available at the BPSB Title I webpage, at all schools, and at the Central Office. Applications can be submitted to any school and to the Central Office.
Parents are encouraged to apply for all programs for which their students and families qualify.