Re: Return to Traditional Lunch Benefit Eligibility Status for 2022-23 School Year

Dear South Henry Family,

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, school corporations across the country have been operating with the use of a federal waiver that allowed them to feed every child lunch for free through the end of the 2021-2022 school year. The school meals program is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). At this time, the use of this waiver will no longer be available and corporations will return to the traditional eligibility requirements for free, reduced, and paid meals. This means that for school year 2022-2023, families at the South Henry School Corporation will be responsible for paying the full price for school lunches unless they apply and are approved for either free or reduced-price meal benefits.  Breakfast will remain free for all students through the Breakfast in the Classroom program.

The Food Services Department does have the ability to Directly Certify students who receive SNAP, TANF, are certified as homeless or migrant, are wards of the state (foster children), and some Medicaid-qualifying students. Households who are found to be directly certified will be notified in writing of the free or reduced-price meal status prior to the start of school and will not need to complete an application.

Meal benefit applications will be available online July 1, 2022 when Federal income requirements are released. Applications received prior to July 1, 2022 will not be effective for the 2022-2023 school year.  Households are encouraged to apply after July 1, 2022 and before the start of the school year on August 4, 2022 to avoid unpaid meal charges. Students who are not approved for free or reduced-price meal benefits before the start of the school year will be classified as paid status and meal charges may begin to accumulate starting the first day of school. Meal charges accrued before the approval of a meal benefit application may be the responsibility of the household regardless of future benefit qualification.

You do NOT need to complete an application if:

●             You receive notification that your child(ren) is directly certified.

●             You know your household does not qualify for meal benefits. With this said, we recommend applying just in case.  If you do not believe that you qualify and choose not to apply, please have money in your child’s account on the first day of school.

Due to earmarked grant funding, textbooks and related fees will remain free for all students through the 2022-2023 school year regardless of free or reduced-price meal status.

Again, at this time, free lunches will no longer be provided for your child at school during the 2022-2023 school year.  We strongly recommend completing an application for free or reduced-priced meals after July 1, 2022 and prior to the start of the 2022-2023 school year.


Thank you,

Jeremy Duncan

Superintendent, South Henry School Corporation