While free lunch for all Forsyth County students is over, some may still qualify

Michelle Hall

(Forsyth County, GA) Forsyth County Schools is hoping to clear up some confusion regarding school lunches.

Frequent posts on social media may be leading some residents to believe free lunch is no longer available to those in need. In fact, the national Free and Reduced Lunch program was never eliminated. What has changed this year is the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has ended the nationwide program that provided free lunch to all students across the country for the past two school years.

“To assist students and their families throughout the global COVID pandemic, the federal government provided free meals for all school-age children,” said Forsyth County Schools Chief Communications Officer Jennifer Caracciolo. “With changes and decreases in COVID, the federal government stopped this program for the 22-23 school year. As such, Forsyth County Schools is urging parents/guardians to sign up for student meal pre-payments at mypaymentsplus.com or to apply for free/reduced meals.”

Caracciolo said there are a number of students in Central and North Forsyth in particular who have not completed a meal option, whether that’s pre-paying or completing the application for aid.

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(Photo/Getty Images)

There are 23 elementary schools in Forsyth County, 11 middle schools and seven high schools. According to zipdatamaps.com, the percentage of students at those schools receiving free or reduced lunch in 2022 ranges from three percent to 58 percent.

Here is a look at the breakdown for each school participating in the free and reduced lunch program:

Parents can apply for free or reduced lunch at any time throughout the school year. School officials encourage any parents who need aid to complete the application as soon as possible to ensure their children receive a meal at school. Applications are available in both English and Spanish.

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(Image/Forsyth County Schools)

In addition to providing discounted meals, completing the application also can qualify students for financial help with obtaining technology, funding education and providing discounted fees for college preparation tests.

Parents can get information on school lunch prices and how to view menus on the district’s website.

If you have a news tip in Forsyth County, email michelle.hall@newsbreak.com

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