Parents can still apply for free school meals for kids
A federal program that provided universal free lunches for students ended in June. Now Michigan officials say they’re working to keep kids from going hungry.
The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in an array of federal support – one of which was nutrition waivers that ensured all children, regardless of income, were offered free meals nationwide.
Despite calls to extend, this benefit ended in June. The U.S. Food and Nutrition Service is instead now offering a suite of supports into child nutrition programs.
“It’s not everything we originally had during the pandemic, but at least we were able to extend additional funding for schools to help with the meals and flexibilities,” U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan said.
The democrat told WGVU she was part in leading this effort. Stabenow said flexibilities and free meals have been extended for throughout this year, as schools transitions away from COVID benefit but parents will have to apply.
Michigan school districts will be sending free and reduced-price meal applications to all households around or at the start of the school year and should let parents know if kids are automatically eligible. Data from 2021 shows more than 700,000 students qualified.
There’s also the Community Eligibility Provision program that allow institutions like Grand Rapids Public Schools to serve all meals free.
More information on free and reduced-price school meals can be found here.