Parents encouraged to apply for free school lunches after federal meal program ends

Published: Jul. 14, 2022 at 5:45 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - The new school year is just around the corner! Some students bring lunches to school, while others buy it or receive it for free.

A federal free lunch program put in place during the pandemic has since ended. This means those who need free or reduced lunch will have to apply for it if their school doesn’t offer it for free.

Shandrekia Morris, a mom of two, says meals should be free for all students regardless of income. She says her son benefitted from the free lunch program when it was in place.

“Every parent can’t afford to send their kid to school with lunch. Everybody can’t afford food like that. Food prices steadily rising,” she said.

Some schools use a program called the Community Eligibility Provision. It serves free meals to all students. This program is offered at 23 Bossier schools. Caddo Parish Public Schools said they offered free lunch to all of their students before the pandemic and will continue to do so for this upcoming school year.

However, even if a student already receives free meals or not, they’re asked to sign up for the other benefits.

“We want them to apply for the free and reduced lunch program. The reason for that is if your child’s application is approved, that in turn may qualify them for certain benefits like waived testing fees on the ACT, SAT, as well as receiving those P-EBT cards,” said Sonja Bailes with Bossier Parish Schools.

If you want to apply for free or reduced lunch, click here.

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