School districts prepare for school lunch changes

As the school year draws near, school districts have a few things to remind parents about, particularly in regard to school lunches.
Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 8:05 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 16, 2022 at 8:12 PM CDT
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ST. PETER, Minn. (KEYC) - As the return to school comes closer, schools and families alike are preparing for the new year.

Things have changed since schools were last in session, and school officials want families to be prepared.

“For the past two years with COVID, the government has provided free meals for everyone, and that’s changed now. As we’re coming into this school year there will be charges for our meal programs once again. And so we are really encouraging all families to apply for free or reduced-price lunches,” St. Peter Public Schools Superintendent Bill Gronseth said.

School officials encourage families to apply for free or reduced-price lunches, as the qualification requirements have changed. The program also discounts fees for things like extracurricular activities and field trips.

“We would like to encourage all families to apply, we know in tough economic times this can lighten that load, and that’s what these programs are here for,” said Special Programs Manager Ytive Prafke.

This could be the first time some families have needed to apply for discount programs since the start of the pandemic, and school officials want to reassure families that participation in discount programs is completely confidential.

“Some families may be hesitant to fill that out, because they may be thinking of a time long ago, when students had different colored lunch tickets, or they were standing in a different line or got a different meal. And things have changed now. That’s all very confidential information,” Gronseth said.

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