Yes, free lunch will be offered to all students through next June

The USDA is extending its free lunch program for all through June 2022.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Last year the Department of Agriculture made free lunches available for all students regardless of a family's income this was done to make sure each child was getting a healthy lunch at school. 

Parents are wondering if that will continue this school year. 

THE QUESTION

Will free lunch be offered to all students this school year? 

THE SOURCES

THE ANSWER

Yes, free lunch will be offered to all students this year. The USDA is extending its free lunch program for all through June 2022.

WHAT WE FOUND

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, schools and day care facilities will continue to serve free meals through June 2022. 

Schools across the country will be allowed to serve meals through the USDA'S Seamless Summer operation, which is usually only available during summer months. This makes all students eligible for free lunches. 

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The USDA school program has an emphasis on fruits, veggies, milk, and whole grains, which can make it easier for parents and students, according to Erin Falls.

"Research shows that receiving the free or reduced-price school lunches reduces food insecurity, obesity rates, as well as poor health. So we know that all of those three items are huge issues with our nation and so this really can help with that," Falls said. 

According to the USDA, up to 12 million children may not have enough to eat during the pandemic. 

"School lunch is critical to student health and well-being, especially for low-income students. It ensures that students have the nutrition they need throughout the day to learn," Falls said.

In Mecklenburg County, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools told WCNC Charlotte they are still encouraging students to fill out their free lunch forms. The district says it helps know the number of people who need it, which helps with funding. 

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Contact Meghan Bragg at mbragg@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.  

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