BLOOMINGTON – In March 2022, Congress failed to sustain funding for the pandemic child nutrition waivers in their $1.5 trillion dollars federal spending bill for domestic initiatives.
What does this mean for Monroe County Community School Corporation’s foodservice moving forward?
According to Matt Tomrell, Director of Food Service, all students will continue to receive free breakfast and lunch regardless of income guidelines and qualifications through the end of the 2021-2022 school year.
“As in years past, we will be offering our summer lunch program from June 6th through July 14th – more specific details on this program will be forthcoming,” added Tomrell.
Moving forward for the 2022-2023 school year, MCCSC will return to following the federal guidelines of the child nutrition program. Parents wishing to apply for free or reduced lunch for their student(s) will need to complete an application, either online through the link on the foodservice website, or via a paper application from your student’s school. Applications will be available in mid-July.
Full-price meals for the coming school year have not been finalized.
According to Tomrell, school nutrition programs in the 2022-2023 school year will be hit especially hard without the flexibility of the pandemic waivers.
“Programs will struggle to receive funding in a climate where the prices are high and stock is low. However, we are left with a glimmer of hope. On March 31, U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), introduced the bipartisan Support Kids Not Red Tape Act (S.3979), which would allow MCCSC and school nutrition programs across the country to extend child nutrition waivers currently set to expire at the end of the school year. If passed, it will extend the free meal benefit and the increased funding reimbursement rate for all students through September 2023, greatly helping our corporation recover from the supply chain issues, and offset high food costs and rates of inflation. I encourage you to contact our elected officials and ask them to consider Support Kids Not Red Tape Act.“
Tomrell would like to thank the MCCSC dedicated staff for their continued service and creativity during these trying times and a big thank you, to the students and families for their continued patience and support of the MCCSC Food Service Program.