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Support for School Lunches Sought
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Tuesday, March 26, 2024
 

BY DEBORAH VAN LAW

Did you know that one of every three students in Blaine County School District schools receives assistance to purchase school meals?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress made school meals free to all children nationwide, regardless of family income. But in 2022 the federal government ended this school meal support for all students and returned to providing free meals only to children of families whose income is under $39,000. 

Families with incomes exceeding this amount are now excluded from receiving this help.  With food prices in Blaine County being the fifth highest in the nation and the price of school meals rising each year, the $600 to $700 annual cost of school meals is out of reach for many of the community’s working families. 

In response to this need, in 2022 the Blaine County Education Foundation entered a three-year, $250,000 commitment to fund school meals for students who do not qualify for federal support yet are still in need. 

During the first year the BCEF secured school meals for 583 students across all BCSD schools. 

While initially this school year we did not see a significant amount of students applying for support, we are now seeing an uptick in applications and increased school meals debt. Students must reapply for support each year.

Blaine County School District is working with us to increase awareness of this program. Please call Monica at 578-5018 for more information or go to supportdeborah@bcef.org to donate.

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