School Lunch

We’ve received a number of questions regarding schools providing free breakfast and lunch for all students and want to provide some clarity and information regarding federal and state requirements and funding related to school food services programs.

For the 2021-22 school year, school districts that participate in the US Department of Agriculture’s National School Lunch Program (NSLP) are able to request some level of reimbursement for the costs of free meals provided to any student who has a need. Our district has historically not participated in the NSLP due to the very low number of students who qualify for it, the strict eligibility requirements for students, and the onerous restrictions and reporting requirements mandated by the program. We have always provided free meals to those students who request it based upon a family need, but simply choose to fund that ourselves rather than seeking reimbursement for these costs.

Recently, the California legislature passed a landmark state budget for 2021-22 which outlines a commitment to offer a universal school meals program beginning in the fall of 2022. If funding to support this initiative is included in the 2022-23 state budget, this would ensure all students requesting it are offered free breakfast and lunch at their school.  Essentially, our state would reimburse school districts for all free meals provided beginning in the 2022-23 school year. Again, this is still contingent upon funding being provided for this program in the 2022-23 budget and does not apply to the current school year.   

Since our district does not participate in the National School Lunch Program, our requirements in 2021-22 have not changed and we are not mandated to provide a free meal for all students, nor are we receiving any additional funding this year for free meals. As noted above, having students go hungry is not something we want for any of our students, therefore regardless of reimbursement from the Federal or State program, LGSUHSD is committed to ensure any of our students who need breakfast and/or lunch can get these meals without any obstacles.

For our families who qualify for Free or Reduced lunch, we ask that you complete the Free and Reduced Lunch application because our percentage of students who qualify for this program remains a key factor in determining the level of funding we get for other state and federal programs that are unrelated to food service. 

For our families who are outside of the qualifications for Free and Reduced Lunch, or would prefer not to complete the application, we ask that you simply check in with your Guidance Counselor or Administrator to make a request to receive free meals. We will notify our Food Service Manager and students will be notified with directions on how to receive free meals thereafter.

If you have any questions, please contact Pam Carlino, pcarlino@lgsuhsd.org.

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