Holt makes changes to school lunch program: Find out how to still receive benefits

Free meals for all Michigan students to end after two years
Holt makes changes to school lunch program
Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 6:02 PM EDT
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HOLT, Mich. (WILX) - When children head back to school, some families will be hit with a bill they might have forgotten about - lunch.

During the pandemic, Congress gave schools a waiver allowing all students to get free lunch regardless of income.

Families are already stretched by increased costs of living. With food no longer being free for all students, this might put families more in a crunch then they were before.

David Hornak is Holt Public Schools Superintendent. He said families who need assistance will need to fill out an application or use additional services.

“For those that are not able to or do not qualify, we do have a few programs that we are looking into,” Hornak said. “We have a pay up forward program where members of our learning community can donate to a food service fund.”

Out of the 11 schools in Holt, three schools will still be able to receive free breakfast and lunch. Evan Robertson, the director of food services for Holt Public Schools, said this includes Dimondale Elementary, Hope Middle School, and Sycamore Elementary.

“So those three buildings have our highest identified population that’s being directly certified from the state of Michigan,” said Robertson.

For the 2022-23 school year, the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) has raised income amounts to qualify for free and reduced lunches.

Robertson said even if you didn’t qualify in years past, you may this year.

“As we’re still coming through COVID though, I think we may have more to be able to qualify because not everyone is back at work yet or if some are some could still be on reduced hours,” said Robertson.

Families across Michigan will be able to apply for service now throughout the school year. But holt public schools advice people to apply before October 1st.

Parents whose kids qualify for free meals need to fill out the paperwork at their school.

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