Government Schools

As Free School Meal Program Runs Out, Advocates Build Support For State-Funded Alternative

First Student West Hartford school bus. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

West Hartford Public Schools Director of Finance Elizabeth Hewitt said for those who do not qualify for free and reduced lunch, paid meal service will start again on Jan. 3, 2023. For the remained of December, the district will use fund balance to continue to provide free meals to all students.

By Hugh McQuaid, CTNewsJunkie.com 

A pot of federal money that has provided free school meals for students across Connecticut has begun to run dry, saddling parents in some districts with nutritional expenses they have not been responsible for since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the outset of this school year, state education officials dedicated around $30 million of federal funding to pay for free breakfast and lunch meals for students at public schools. The allocation was designed fill a void left by a temporary U.S. Department of Agriculture program that had paid for the meals since the pandemic.

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