Over the past year, pandemic relief efforts have been winding down. One of the first to go: universal free lunch for public school students.
For more than two years during the pandemic, the waivers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture meant all kids qualified for free breakfasts and lunches. It saved families with one child hundreds of dollars per year, and for families with multiple kids, it saved thousands. It meant families who might qualify for free or reduced lunches didn’t have to handle paperwork, and no students had to navigate lunch debt.
But Congress decided to let the program lapse. Across Oklahoma, schools are figuring out how to help families weather the change.