Upcoming changes to federal law will impact Food Services in the 2022-23 school year and end the distribution of “universal free school meal programs,” initially introduced as the pandemic began in 2020. This affects not only MUSD but all public school systems across the nation.
In March 2020, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued child nutrition waivers, which allowed schools to receive reimbursement for serving free food to all students, regardless of the student’s ability to pay. As you may recall, all students were able to receive free school meals since that time and through the end of the 2021-22 school year.
The nutrition waivers are expiring for the upcoming 2022-23 school year, meaning that schools will no longer be serving lunches at no cost to all students. Students will be responsible for bringing lunch from home or purchasing meals through their school’s food services.
This change will not affect those students who apply for and receive Free and Reduced Price meals. Starting this July, schools and the district will be providing information to families about applying for free and reduced-price meals. Families must re-apply each year to qualify, and one application can be used to list all children in the household. Please watch for communication in early July from your school and the district on our website, social media, and parent newsletters about this application.