By: Jacob Kessler
School lunch payments will be returning this year due to federal funds no longer being authorized to continue paying for the meals.
This system was initiated by Congress and gave authorization to the U.S. Department of Agriculture to issue waivers which provided free meals to students.
Not only did this provide free lunches to students, but free breakfast meals as well.
With money no longer being allocated for this program, schools will be returning to the pre-pandemic system with the exception of North Central Schools in Pioneer.
According to the school, another program was entered into that existed before the pandemic and will help the school to continue providing free meals to the students.
For this to take place, the school is asking every household to complete a free and reduced meal application.
Completing the application helps the school receive the funding needed to provide every student free breakfast and lunches.
Every other school in Fulton and Williams County, at the time of this writing, will be returning to the normal system.
Parents will see an additional expense this year, which will be different depending on the number of children in each family and which school is attended. Prices differ from school to school with an average lunch cost being somewhere around $3.00.
This will equate to somewhere close to $15.00 a week per child, or around $60.00 a month. For a family of three the range will increase to around $45.00 a week or $180.00 a month.
These costs are estimates looking at the range of school lunch fees. Your school may be more or less, with costs also changing depending on the student’s grade level.
These costs are also only associated for lunch costs, this does not include the option students have to receive a breakfast.
The costs are set by schools in order to pay for the lunch program. A nutrition program is not cheap especially with inflation driving the cost of goods up.
These school lunch prices however have not changed drastically, even with inflation. Still, with many issues taking place in today’s economy, and not just with inflation, these prices may be too much for some families.
There are options out there for those that need it, which in today’s world is more and more people. Free and reduced lunch programs are provided by the Federal Government for families that meet the income guidelines.
The guidelines and applications are available from your local school district. Families should fill out the application and turn it in to be eligible.
Jacob can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org