Free school lunch program comes to an end

Aug 22, 2022, 9:54 AM | Updated: 11:31 am

school lunch debt...

After two years of getting free school lunch, the program is ending. {Photo: Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — Many families across the country accessed free school lunch through the National School Lunch Program over the past two years.  

However, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced that the program is coming to an end. 

With inflation on the rise, this is another expense for families to shoulder. Dave and Dujanovic’s Dave Noriega’s yearly tab for school lunch for four kids amounts to $1700. This breaks down to $2.45 a day for junior high and high school and  $2.05 per day for elementary.

According to a poll from Data for Progress, voters generally support a permanent extension of the Universal Free School Lunch Program. 

Additional resources

Although the program is ending there are still some resources for families facing food insecurity. The Utah State Board of Education has a list of Child Nutrition Programs to help supplement meals including the After School Snack Program and the Foods Distribution Program.

On Aug. 19, Ogden School District announced that the district was approved to participate in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) program.

Eight schools, which are title one institutions, are eligible for free meals regardless of income or household size. The schools listed are,  Bonneville Elementary, Heritage Elementary, Hillcrest Elementary, James Madison Elementary, Lincoln Elementary, Odyssey Elementary, Mound Fort Jr. High and George Washington High Schools

Related: Why are so many families behind on school lunch debt? It’s complicated


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Free school lunch program comes to an end