School Lunch Changes

Students eating lunch. This school year, there are changes to both menu items and prices. Kaylie Redhead photo.

This year, students have to pay for school meals for the first time in two years. 

The waivers issued under the Family’s First Coronavirus Response Act, made it possible for the school district to provide all students with free breakfast and lunch the past two years. Due to this waiver not being extended past June 30, 2022, the school district is no longer able to provide free meals for all students. 

The director of food and nutrition, Amy A’Hearn would like students to know there are ways students can receive assistance for meal payments. 

“Students who have a family member or they themselves utilize food stamps, the Family Investment Program as well as some students with Medicaid are directly certified for free meals.  Parents/guardians may also complete meal eligibility applications in hopes to qualify for free or reduced meals,” said A’Hearn. 

Students can complete eligibility applications at or on the SchoolCafe app. 

This year, breakfast is $1.95 and lunch is $3.05 for high school students. Junior Megan VanDeVoorde feels lunch is overpriced and should still be free to all students. 

“It’s upsetting because obviously there are people who can’t afford lunch and to eat everyday,” said VanDeVoorde.

Meal payments were not the only change in the lunchroom this year. Many students have noticed new menu items as the school year started. A’Hearn explained that menu changes happen every school year. 

“These changes are based on a variety of different items such as new products from manufacturers, products that are no longer available, new products added to the Diverted Foods (USDA entitlement) program, student preference and more.  We try new items and change up menus to decrease menu fatigue but also keep items that are student favorites,” said A’Hearn. 

Some of these changes included crispitos and fiesta pizza being added back onto the menu; last year these items were not available. 

There are also new items including calzones, sloppy joes and a new chicken sandwich (Chris P Chicken Sandwich).

Students are welcome to give feedback to any staff member within the kitchen regarding meals. Students may also email suggestions or ideas to A’Hearn at [email protected].