PA K-12 schools to continue offering free meals for upcoming school year

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Trays of food at a school cafeteria. (KOIN)

HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — K-12 schools in the commonwealth can continue offering free school meals for the 2021-2022 school year, the state Department of Education announced Monday.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released waivers and eligibility guidelines allowing schools to offer free meals without determining eligibility based on the student’s household income. 

“I’m grateful to the USDA for their commitment to combatting hunger throughout this pandemic,” said Secretary of Education Noe Ortega. “I encourage schools to take advantage of these waivers, which help ensure learners across Pennsylvania continue to have access to free, nutritious meals.”

Participating schools will operate under the “Seamless Summer Option” and will receive a higher federal reimbursement rate per meal. Schools that elect not to serve free meals will determine eligibility for free and reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program using federal income guidelines.

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