(WJHL) — The federal waiver allowing all students to eat for free at school since March 2020 is no longer in effect, and all five school districts — the county and city school systems — in Washington and Sullivan counties require approved applications on file for the upcoming school year.
Districts will send home applications to students at the beginning of the school year, and it is required that the form be returned to the school to reduce or waive meal fees.
Accepted applications may also result in discounts on SAT, ACT and AP exams as well as college applications, according to the food service director at Johnson City Schools in a news release.
“We encourage all families to complete the meal benefits application,” said Karen McGahey. “The program provides more than just meals for students. Completing that one form can result in increased funding for additional classroom resources to benefit all students; discounts on SAT, ACT and AP exam fees; discounted fees on college applications; and increased opportunities for college scholarships.”
The application must be completed annually, and they are accepted at any time throughout the school year. Links to additional information are available below.
“It is more important than ever for families to complete the meal benefits application to determine if they qualify,” said Jennifer Burleson, the school nutrition director at Bristol Tennessee City Schools. “With the federal waiver providing free meals for all students last school year, many families never completed an application. As a result, our percentage of families who qualified for free or reduced meals was much lower than usual.”
For more information, click here.