School Nutrition Update 2022

School Nutrition Update 2022
Jennifer Ewing

Learn about recent changes in our school nutrition program.

RCS families will experience changes in school meals this fall. RCS nutrition professionals have worked tirelessly to get healthy food to children during COVID-19, and we will keep working hard to serve children healthy meals this coming school year. As we all get through this change, we ask everyone to be patient with school nutrition professionals and thank them for working to help children during such a tough time. Together, we will keep working to support student learning and making sure children can get healthy meals in the coming school year.

Will all meals be free?
Schools had some flexibilities during COVID so they could serve all kids free meals.  Some of those options expired, so many schools can’t serve all meals free anymore. However, Rogersville City School Board has approved our request to continue to serve all students breakfast at no cost.   For lunch, families will do what they did before COVID.  We will take applications and use family income to qualify kids for free, reduce-price, or paid meals.

My child’s school is going to start charging for meals again, but I can’t afford to pay. Is there a way my child can get meals for free?
Yes. There are still many ways children can get free lunches. Children are automatically eligible for free lunches if anyone in their household gets SNAP, TANF, or FDPIR benefits. We will let you know if your child is automatically eligible.

You can also fill out an application to qualify for free or reduced-price meals. Children experiencing homelessness, children in foster care, runaway youth, or children of migrant workers all qualify for free school meals when their household fills out an application. Children can also qualify for free or reduced-price meals through an application if their household’s income is under a certain limit. Schools will help you understand if you qualify for free or reduced-price meals based on the information you put on their school meal application.  Household applications will be available on the first day of school in your child’s back to school packet.  Please return the completed form back to your child’s teacher so that it can be processed as quickly as possible. 

For example, a child in a family of four with a yearly income of $51,338 or less would qualify for reduced-price meals. Families that believe their income is under the limit should fill out an application for free or reduced-price meals through their school.

Household Size

Maximum Annual Household Income for Reduced Price Meals, School Year 2022-23*

1

$25,142

2

$33,874

3

$42,606

4

$51,338

5

$60,070

6

$68,802

7

$77,534

8

$86,266

For each additional family member, add

$4,720

 

Children who do not qualify for free or reduced-price meals may pay full price for a healthy lunch at school. The cost of a full price meal $2.45 for lunch and $0.40 for a Reduced priced lunch.

It seems like my child’s school isn’t always serving what shows on the school menus. What is going on?
Schools are facing the same challenges many grocery stores and other places are having with getting all the food and supplies they need. When this happens, school nutrition professionals are doing everything they can to serve healthy meals to your child. Sometimes that means needing to swap out some foods for others because some foods are easier to get. Please be patient with the school nutrition professionals striving to serve our kids. We are committed to making sure our kids get the healthy meals they depend on during this challenging time.

School meals have to meet strong nutrition standards, and schools are continuing to work hard to serve students the nutritious, delicious meals they need to learn and grow.

For additional questions or concerns, please contact Colby Wagoner at 423-272-7651 or at wagonerc@rcschool.net.