Free lunch for all BCBE students begins

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All traditional school students in the Baldwin County school system began receiving free meals this week. The program is only available to our students attending brick and mortar schools and is not available to any Virtual School students. The program ends Dec. 31.

This program is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture or USDA. The federal program rules require that students must get a full meal to have the fee waived. Buying single or extra items, such as a container of milk, a roll or piece of fruit, would require a charge.

For those parents who have deposited money into their child's school account, those funds may be used to purchase single or extra items as identified above. Any funds deposited into a child's account will remain in your child's account. We expect that this USDA program will expire on Dec. 31 and parents will be able to utilize these funds in the second semester. 

Here are the basics:

What is free:  One reimbursable breakfast and one reimbursable lunch per day per student are free.  Single or extra items or additional meals must be paid at the regular price.  All adult meals are regular price.  (Example: if a student only wants a milk, the student must pay for the milk.  Only the entire meal is free). 

Scanning Cards:  Students will still scan their cards as normal. If students do not have their card, the cashier can enter them, or students can use the keypad.  Nothing will change for the students at the register except for they will not be charged. 

Free and Reduced Meal Applications: All Traditional School students Pre-K through 12th grade will receive free meals through the program period. We still need for all parents to complete a free and reduced meal application to support our Title 1 school Funding. These applications also provide benefits to those looking for free internet services as well as other school support services. It is very important we get this information from you to help not only your children but our entire system. Families who have traditionally participated in the free and reduced meal program will go back to their free, reduced, or paid status beginning Jan. 1, 2021.

Refunds:  BCBE will not process any refunds for meals purchased before Sept. 8, 2020.  These meals are not included in this waiver.  Any funds left in students’ accounts will remain in their account until we charge for meals again and can also be used to purchase extra/a la carte items. 

Charges: Students still owe money for any meals charged this school year. CNP cannot remove that from their accounts. 

Menus:  Menus will change slightly.