USDA Extends Free School Lunch Program Through July 2022

Wednesday, April 21st 2021, 9:49 am
By: News On 6

The United States Department of Agriculture said that it will extend a free school lunch program for every student in grades Kindergarten through 12th until next summer.

The program will help about 12-million students who live in a home where they did not have enough to eat at some point during the pandemic.

The emergency lunch waiver program was put into place early last year as COVID-19 cases skyrocketed in the U.S., laying off thousands of people.

The free lunch program was set to end after September 30th, but it has now been renewed through at least July of 2022.

U.S. schools also saw federal reimbursement rates go up from $3.60 to $4.25 cents per meal. That allowed schools to budget for costs incurred due to pandemic-related supply shortages. It also let schools be able to obtain to-go boxes and bags for students.

In March, the Biden Administration provided $12-billion in nutritional assistance as part of its $1.9 trillion Stimulus law. That included a 15% boost to food-stamp benefits among other provisions.