by Taniesa Sullivan - (Combined Sources)
The federal USDA waivers that have allowed school districts to provide school breakfast and lunch at no cost to students for the past two years were set to expire on June 30, 2022.
The USDA extended the federal waivers for the upcoming school year, however, only families with an income of 185% of the poverty level or below will qualify for free meals. Many families can expect to resume paying a full or reduced price for school meals when school resumes.
All families are strongly encouraged to complete a free and reduced meal application for the 2022-2023 school year. Free and reduced meal applications for the 2022-2023 school year will be available starting July 1, 2022. Online applications can be completed starting July 1 at www.myschoolapps.com. If an online application is completed, a household does not have to complete a paper application. Paper applications will be sent home with students at the start of the school year. Only one application needs to be completed per family and we encourage the submission of a new application if income decreases or household size increases.
Please take into consideration, that many students have grown accustomed to picking up school breakfast and lunch at school due to meals being provided at no cost over the past two years. It is important that families take time before school resumes in August to discuss school meal participation plans with your child since this could cost money for your household depending on your student's income-based meal status or the submission of an application.
Throughout the COVID pandemic, the Child Nutrition Department Staff of Cherokee County Schools in Cherokee County, Alabama, and the surrounding other counties' Child Nutrition Department Staff have worked tirelessly to serve meals to the children.
Child Nutrition Department Staff asks for families to understand as they transition their program to follow the new rules and regulations governing it set forth by the USDA and those set by their State Department of Education.