News and HeadlinesEducationBack to School


As federal COVID waivers expire, free school lunches aren't guaranteed: Here's how to apply for your child

School lunch
Posted at 4:44 PM, Jul 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-26 04:09:39-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Back to school is just around the corner, and it's the first time in about two years the federal child nutrition waiver is not in place.

That means parents could have to pay for school lunches.

The previous program was offered as a form of COVID-19 relief, giving all students free lunch and breakfast.

Even though it won't be offered this year, the free and reduced lunch program is still in effect in the Hoosier state, but parents must apply to take part.

It's something schools across the city say is important to offer.

"We never want t kid to go hungry, we are always going to feed a kid. But we also need to make sure we are working without parents to make sure they are taking care of their balance on that stuff as well," Wes Anderson with Southern Hancock County Schools said.

At a time when pretty much everything is at an all-time high, parents say they're grateful they can qualify for free school lunches.

"I don't have to worry about my kid going hungry because I knew they would have that food at school to fall back on," Sara Helton, who utilizes the free lunch program, said.

To learn more on if you qualify for free and reduced lunch and to apply, click here.