While federal and state support for universal free meals for all students during the COVID-19 pandemic has ended, RSD will still support students in need. Here’s how our student meal program is changing, what that means for students and families and how you can help ensure students get the resources they need.
Free and reduced price meals are still available for eligible students. Students may qualify for free and reduced price meals directly through their or their family’s participation in other support programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Medicaid. They may also apply for free and reduced price meals by completing the 2022-23 application and returning it to our Nutrition Services staff. For more information about free and reduced price meals, contact the RSD Nutrition services office at (509) 967-6114 or [email protected].
Some RSD schools will continue to provide free meals to ALL their students. The following schools will continue to provide free meals to all their students:
- Early Learning Center
- Badger Mountain Elementary
- Jason Lee Elementary
- Jefferson Elementary
- Lewis & Clark Elementary
- Marcus Whitman Elementary
- Sacajawea Elementary
- Tapteal Elementary
- William Wiley Elementary
- Carmichael Middle School
- Chief Joseph Middle School
- Enterprise Middle School
- River’s Edge High School
These schools are participating in the Community Eligibility Program (CEP), a federal program that serves schools with at least 40 percent of their students living below the poverty line. This is not the same as being qualified for free meals; rather these students will not be charged for their meals. Under CEP meals are free to enrolled students, but a la cart items remain full price. This includes milk for students who bring lunch from home – milk will still be $0.50.
Families with students at CEP schools are asked to complete a Family Income Survey. The federal government prohibits the district from processing free and reduced price meal applications from students who are enrolled at CEP schools unless the child has siblings attending non-CEP schools. Families with students at CEP schools should instead complete the district’s Family Income Survey. This survey will provide the district information it would otherwise gather via free and reduced price meal applications to seek federal and state funding for specific student support programs. Additionally, students who are eligible for the reduction or waiver of other fees for other student programs can be identified through the survey. Schools recently sent a link to the online Family Income Survey to families and paper versions of the form are available at each school.
Schools will continue to follow up with their families regarding the surveys so they can be sure that student needs can be met.
Article Source: Richland School District