From March through most all summer, the US Department of Education (USDE) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) provided free meals to ANY student at no cost during the school closures across our nation. However, the federal ‘waivers’ providing the free meals expired recently.
Earlier this month, the USDA, which has oversight of the school breakfast and lunch programs, announced an indefinite extension of the waivers.
Extension of the waivers means that ALL breakfast and lunch meals will be FREE to ALL students regardless of income!!! Please encourage your child(ren) to participate. The program is temporary and will only last as long as funding allows. Therefore there will likely be a return to ‘paid’ meals in the future.
The free meals also applies to the food distribution for Festus Online students. If you would like to sign up for free meals for your Festus Online student you can do so by clicking here. Meals are being distributed from the Festus Elementary Upper Cafeteria parking lot from 10am-11am Monday thru Friday when school is in session.
If your child currently has an oustanding meal debt it will still need to be paid. A la carte items, extra food items or extra milk are not covered by the program. Students must have funds in their lunch accounts if they plan to purchase those particular items.
When the funding expires, we will have to resume charging for the meals. So, if you think you qualify for free or reduced priced meals, please go ahead and complete this year’s application so when the time arrives for us to once again charge for meals you will already be set up to receive free or reduced-price meals without interruption.