Families will need to apply for free school breakfast, lunches this school year

‘No Kid Hungry’ campaign aims to help families struggling to put food on their table

The government was able to supply breakfast and lunch to students during the pandemic, but that program no longer exists and that means many parents are going to have to go back to making sure their child leaves the house with lunch money.

SAN ANTONIO – There are going to be many changes for students and parents as they prepare for a new school year.

Inflation has already taken a toll on some families and it’ doesn’t appear to be improving anytime soon.

The government was able to supply breakfast and lunch to students during the pandemic, but that program no longer exists and that means many parents are going to have to go back to making sure their child leaves the house with lunch money.

President Joe Biden over the summer signed the “Keep Kids Fed Act,” but the program doesn’t feed as many children.

For those families that qualify for a free breakfast and lunch program, they will have to resort to pre-pandemic procedures.

“One of the big changes that families are going to see is that they are going to have to go back to filling out a free reduced meal school application at their local school just like we did pre-pandemic,” said Franco Cruz, senior program manager for No Kid Hungry, a national campaign run by Share Our Strength, a nonprofit working to solve problems of hunger and poverty in the US and around the world.

That means many middle-income families will probably not qualify for free or reduced meals. They are already dealing with inflation, higher prices for gas, food and housing and will now have to pay for school meals.

“Inflation has made it really difficult for a lot of families, and we see it and feel it,” Cruz said.

That is why the organization, No Kid Hungry, is stepping up to help fill that void.

Cruz said the campaign has already provided relief for many needy families in San Antonio.

“We have provided over $800,000 in grants to schools just in our community,” he said.

The grant will keep kids at one of our local schools fed every morning, which means the most important meal is the day is taken care of right there in the class.

“Now the child doesn’t have to get to school early to get a meal. They get a meal at their desk in their classroom,” Cruz said

Students can now concentrate on their studies instead of their stomachs. A good breakfast waiting for students translates into fewer students being absent.

Parents need to check with their local schools or school districts or their website to fill out those applications.

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About the Authors:

David Sears, a native San Antonian, has been at KSAT for more than 20 years.