ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona K-12 public school students get free breakfast, lunch this school year

Jul 23, 2021, 4:35 AM
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Follow @GriseldaZetino...
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

PHOENIX — As Arizona schools prepare to welcome students back to class, parents won’t need to pack them a lunch.

That’s because all K-12 public school students 18 and younger nationwide, regardless of income, will get free breakfast and lunch this school year. It’s thanks to the U.S. Department of Agriculture continuing to reimburse schools for meals.

“We’re really excited about it,” Sabrina Kvavle, director of food and nutrition at Mesa Public Schools, told KTAR News 92.3 FM. “It really takes away a lot of stigma for children.”

USDA started offering meal waivers last school year to ensure all students have access to nutritious food during the coronavirus pandemic. The waivers have been extended through June 30, 2022.

Kvavle said the waivers had a big impact last school year and helped some schools in the district meet an increased demand for meals.

“We had a large increase for breakfast at some schools,” she said. “An elementary school that might perhaps only serve about 60 breakfasts was serving over 200.”

School districts and charters have started making parents aware of the free meals their kids will have access to this school year. They’re also encouraging parents to still submit a school meal application for free or reduced-price meal benefits.

The information may be used to see if students qualify for other programs, including the Pandemic EBT program that offers families additional food assistance.

Arizona News

(Courtesy photo/Arizona State Lottery)...
Torrence Dunham

2 Mega Millions tickets worth $10K sold in Arizona as jackpot climbs

Two lucky people in Arizona are $10,000 richer after purchasing winning Mega Millions tickets in Friday's drawing, but the grand prize is still up for grabs and growing.
22 hours ago
(Pixabay Photo)...
KTAR.com

Here are employers who are hiring in metro Phoenix

With businesses opening to full capacity and looking to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, employers in metro Phoenix and Arizona are looking to hire. Here's the list of employers looking for workers.
22 hours ago
(Arizona Humane Society Photo)...
Danny Shapiro

Husky who recovered from serious burns up for adoption in Scottsdale

A husky who has recovered from serious burns after being found as an underweight stray is ready to be taken home from a Scottsdale adoption center.
22 hours ago
(Facebook Photo, File/Phoenix Police Department)...
KTAR.com

Motorcyclist dies after 2-vehicle collision on Baseline Road in Phoenix

A motorcyclist who was rushed to the hospital after a two-vehicle wreck Monday morning in Phoenix has died, authorities said.
22 hours ago
Maricopa County Supervisor Bill Gates speaks during a May 17 press conference with other county off...
Danny Shapiro

Maricopa County audit deal with Senate a ‘business decision,’ supervisor says

The deal Maricopa County worked out with the Arizona Senate over router access related to the audit of the 2020 election was a "business decision," according to one supervisor.
22 hours ago
Daniel Robinson was last seen in a remote area of Buckeye, Arizona, on June 23, 2021. His SUV was f...
Kevin Stone

Crews searching desert area for Phoenix man find somebody else’s skull

A human skull uncovered during the search for Daniel Robinson in a remote West Valley area is not of the missing Phoenix man, authorities said.
22 hours ago
Arizona K-12 public school students get free breakfast, lunch this school year