All Hawaii public school students will get breakfast, lunch for free in new school year

School lunch in Hawaii
School lunch in Hawaii(Source: Hawaii News Now)
Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 11:37 AM HST|Updated: Jul. 15, 2021 at 11:42 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - All Hawaii public school student will be able to get breakfast and lunch for free in the upcoming school year, the state Department of Education announced.

The free meals are thanks to a nationwide US Department of Agriculture waiver, which aims to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in schools by eliminating meal payment transactions.

The announcement comes as Hawaii prepares to fully reopen all public schools in the fall. Officials say while distance learning will still be an option, most students will be attending class in person.

Federal funds will reimburse the DOE for the cost of providing all meals for free.

“This has been a challenging time for our ohana, and I am proud to continue our safety net support through actions that improve food security for our students while providing economic relief for our families,” Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto said, in a news release.

“As we fully reopen schools to in-person learning, this waiver will allow for a more efficient, contactless experience for students and our food service team.”

Parents and guardians who haven’t yet purchased meal credits for the upcoming school year don’t have to take any action for their children to get the free meals.

Those who have already purchased credits can request a refund.

Students will get the free meals at the school at which they are enrolled, and one breakfast and one lunch will be provided to each student.

Even though all meals are free, parents are still encouraged to submit applications for free and reduced cost lunch because that information also impacts eligibility for transportation and other benefits.

For more information, click here.

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