Although this announcement means the end of free meals being offered to every student, I still like to think of it as good news. Maybe I'm just trying to take a "glass-half-full" approach, but to me, this announcement means that we are continuing to get back to normal. Over the past couple of years, a lot of families - more than usual - needed those free meals, we're now getting to a point where that need isn't quite as great.

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Free Food for Some, Just Not for All

The Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation (EVSC) sent a letter to parents, of which I am one, stating that the federal waiver which provided free meals for any and all students would no longer be available during the upcoming 2022-23 school year. To be clear, though, that does NOT mean there are no more free meals, it just means they won't be available for everyone. Those who are in need, and qualify, will still be able to get assistance from their school. Having said that, students who were approved for free or reduced meals last year will still be able to receive those meals for the first 30 days of the 22-23 school year (thru 9/19/22). Families will need to submit an application in order to continue receiving assistance after that.

How to Apply for Free or Reduced Meals

First of all, it's important to know that not everyone needs to apply in order to receive assistance. The Food Services Department does have the ability to automatically approve students who receive SNAP, TANF, some Medicaid, are certified as homeless, migrant, or are wards of the state (foster children). Students and families in those situations will be notified in writing of their free or deduced status - no application will be needed.

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Those who are unsure of their status and/or would like to receive free or reduced meals will need to submit an application, which can be found on EVSC Parent Access. Applications should be completed in early August. Of course, you can always call the EVSC Office of Food & Nutrition at 812-435-8258 if you have any other questions or need more help.

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