A Carrollton City Schools official on Wednesday said the district is reviewing all options for students in the coming school year, after it was announced that the federal nutrition program which allowed for free breakfast and lunch for all students will expire June 30, 2022.
In March 2020, when covid-19 began spreading in the U.S., the U.S. Department of Agriculture, with the help of additional congressional funding, began issuing waivers that temporarily provided schools a workaround to some of the NSLP’s strict criteria, increased reimbursement rates, and allowed all children, regardless of their parents’ income levels, to receive school meals for free.
But, when the omnibus package that funds the government for Fiscal Year 2022 was introduced last month, an extension of the funding for school meal waivers wasn’t part of it.
U.S. Senators have introduced a bipartisan bill to extend the waivers through the 2023 school year, but it would require sixty votes to pass. Extending the waivers is estimated to cost approximately $11 billion.
Bremen City Schools Superintendent David Hicks said the temporary funding of the school food and nutrition breakfast and lunches was very beneficial for the Bremen program. “Our student participation numbers substantially increased, and we’re hopeful students will continue to eat with us even after the free program ends,” he said.
The Heard County Schools District this week confirmed they will be moving back to free/reduced applications July 1, 2022.