LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The program feeding all students across the country for free is set to end, however, President Biden signed a new bill extending some food assistance measures.
The Feed All Families Free waivers started at the beginning of the pandemic and were set to expire Thursday. Senator John Boozeman, along with other lawmakers across the country, came up with a new bill called the Keep Kids Fed Act. It does extend some of those free waivers but not all.
For the Little Rock School District, there’s been quite the increase in students using the program in the last couple of years. Some schools doubled in enrollment. According to LRSD Child Nutrition Specialist Stephanie Walker-Hynes, now about 9,000 out of 20,000 students will eat for free.
“Normally in Little Rock we feed over 8,000 breakfasts a day and lunches probably over 12, 13 and sometimes 14,000 per day and so a majority of those kids will not have to pay,” Walker-Hynes said. “It is a great relief. It is a great relief for families and for us.”
Students qualify based on parents’ income. Those that do not qualify for the free waivers could still get reduced cost.
“Anytime you can help a family or you can erase a burden and take away a worry it’s a win win,” Walker-Hynes said. “So I can’t even express in words how much it means to the happy faces.”
Districts will take applications starting Friday until the beginning of the school year. Families can apply online at MySchoolApps.com and select your school district.