Reduced lunches now free



POLK COUNTY — It’s time to fill out those forms for free and reduced lunch, even if you qualified last year.

“You do have to do it every year,” said Lisa Miller, of Central School District food services.

In fact, even if you aren’t sure if you qualify, Miller said you should fill one out.

“You should always turn one in because there’s a possibility that you could get reduced versus the free.”

This year, a grant will cover the costs of all reduced lunches in Oregon, making those lunches free, too.

Central schools also offer free breakfast for all students.

Falls City schools offer free breakfast and lunch for all students, but having a free and reduced lunch form filled out can help with other things.

For example, many youth sports programs — including those at the high school level — have lower fees for student who qualify for free or reduced lunch.

“The high school has testing fees that are waived or reduced if a student’s household qualifies for free or reduced lunch,” Miller said.

Miller said each year she gets a list from the state of families who have been authorized for free and reduced lunch, but not all the siblings are always listed.

She has mailed out 500 letters to families in Central School District who are directly certified, but said people need to check and make sure all their children are listed.

“If I don’t get an application from the family, I have no way of knowing that Jonny is Teresa’s brother until much later in the year,” Miller said. Sometimes this can cause lunch bills to be sent unnecessarily to families.

Forms for free or reduced lunch may be found online or at any school in the county: http://www.fns.usda.gov/nslp/national-school-lunch-program-nslp.



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