Forestburg ISD ends free lunch for students

Schools across Texas have stopped receiving federal COVID-19 funds.
Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 6:45 PM CDT
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FORESTBURG, Texas (KAUZ) - Forestburg ISD has announced that they will no longer offer free lunch for students.

This is because the district was relying on COVID funds to keep the program running. Now that the school has stopped receiving those funds, they are unable to continue the program.

Forestburg ISD principal Trey Cumby said when the district received COVID-19 emergency grants, they decided to put some of that money toward feeding not just the students but the community as well.

“We had opened that up to homeschool kids and we had times when we were feeding the community throughout the process and they were coming up and getting lunches from us,” Cumby said.

Now that those funds are no longer available, they are returning to their standard lunch prices and parents like Bailey Litchfield have shown their concerns.

“There’s kids out there whose parents are still struggling because of the pandemic. Just because I have made progress, it doesn’t mean everyone has made progress and I’m worried about them,” Litchfield said.

Though the school will still offer free and reduced lunch, parents like Kara Craig are worried the program is only available if a certain criteria is met by those applying.

“Not qualifying for free or reduced lunch on a regular basis was definitely hard when you don’t make as much money as the low standards of poverty set. Now that we have to have that time off and we’d have to readjust our budget, I think it’s going to be a kick in the pants for a lot of people,” Craig said.

However, Cumby is encouraging everyone to fill out the free or reduced lunch application because if the percentage of students who qualify for it is high enough, the district will qualify for programs to continue offering free lunches for all students.

“That application allows our schools to get funding as well that not a lot of people are aware of. We could also have funding for reduced college application fees and college entrance exams, so there’s a lot of funding that comes our way through that program,” Cumby said.

The lunch applications are available to fill out on Meet the Teacher Night, which is Thursday, Aug. 11 from 5-7 p.m.

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