Washington, D.C. (WSAZ) -- As West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced the closing of schools in the state Friday, he expressed concern for students who rely on the nutritional meals provided every day.
But plans are in motion to make sure no student goes hungry, according to U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.)
The USDA has approved a waiver for the West Virginia Office of Child Nutrition to prepare to feed children meals under the Summer Food Service Program and National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option guidelines.
This move comes after Sen. Manchin says he sent a letter to the U.S Department of Agriculture urging them to make the decision.
According to a release, this approval allows West Virginia to be reimbursed for the meals provided to the most vulnerable students outside of a school setting to avoid unnecessary large groups during the COVID-19 outbreak.
“West Virginia is home to over 120,000 children who receive free school meals. This is more than 120,000 children who would go hungry without schools providing the food these children and their families rely on," said Senator Manchin.
Gov. Justice says all schools in West Virginia will close indefinitely beginning Monday, March 16.