September 15, 2023. September 15, 2023
Why Are School Meals No Longer Free This Year?
For the past two years, students could get school meals for free whether their parents filled out a meal application or not — unfortunately, that won’t be the case this fall. The USDA made it possible for our school nutrition program to serve all students free breakfast and lunch through federal waivers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Congress did not extend these waivers for the upcoming school year, so this new school year we will be back to regularly priced meals.
Our school lunch program is a solely funded entity that only receives revenue from meals served. When parents and students choose to purchase a lunch from school, it is the equivalent of supporting a small business. If you’re worried about paying for meals again, we encourage you to add one more item to your to-do list: fill out an application for free and reduced-price lunch.
Who needs to fill out the form and when does it need to be filled out?
If you feel you need help covering the cost of school meals, we encourage you to fill out a meal application. The form asks for information about your income and household size to determine if you qualify.
You can fill it out anytime during the school year, but the forms aren’t retroactive. For example, if you wait until October to fill it out, even if you are eligible for free lunch, you would still be charged for meals that your children take from the start of the school year, until whenever your form is processed and approved. Even if you’ve filled out a form in the past, you need to reapply each school year.
Who sees the information I put on my form?
Your privacy is very important to the school district. We minimize the number of people involved in reading and processing the forms. While state auditors sometimes request to look at some of the forms to verify that we’re processing the forms correctly, we keep these applications as confidential as possible.
If I don’t qualify for free lunch, or my child doesn’t eat school meals, why should I fill it out?
There are additional benefits to families and our school that are determined from the forms, like waivers and reduced fees for school sports and academic testing or reduced price for your home internet service. The forms are used to measure financial hardship in our community, which may allow our school to receive more resources for students. So do yourself, your children, our school, and our community a big favor and send in the application this week!
Breakfast: FREE FOR ALL STUDENTS
At breakfast, we serve three components: two grains, one fruit and/or juice, and milk. Students may choose three or four items from the three components for a reimbursable meal. Cereal is also served daily. We also offer a free Grab & Go Breakfast in the primary cafeteria for Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade students to eat now or put in their backpack for later. These students can opt to go to the main cafeteria for a hot breakfast.
Lunch: $2.50 (Reduced $0.40)
We serve five components at lunch: meat/meat alternate, one or two vegetables, fruit, whole grain, and milk. Students may choose four or all five components at lunch for a reimbursable meal. Students must choose a fruit or vegetable to be a reimbursable meal. Any food item can be purchased as an a la carte item after a reimbursable meal is chosen.
A La Carte Items
USDA Nondiscrimination Statement
In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.
Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.
To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at: https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/USDA-OASCR%20P-Complaint-Form-0508-0002-508-11-28-17Fax2Mail.pdf, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.