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Expiring federal waiver means changes will be coming to student lunch programs beginning July 1

The federal waiver for free student lunches, put into place when the pandemic began, will expire at the end of June, affecting school districts nationwide, including North Marion.

There are other programs in place, including an Oregon plan, that will help keep students fed. However, the expiring waivers mean there are certain changes that will take effect July 1 and will continue into the 2022-23 school year:

• Parents/guardians will no longer be able to pick up meals on behalf of their children.

• Meals cannot be delivered to homes.

• Students/participants must be present to get a meal and must stay onsite when eating it.

• Food items may not be allowed off site.

• Multiple meals will not be served at one meal service.

In Oregon, summer meals will still be free through Parents also can text "Food" or "Comida" to 304-304 for details on nearby sites.

This fall, families will again need to apply for the free or reduced-price meal program. A meal price will be established for students who don't qualify for free or reduced-price meals.

Through a federal program, families are eligible for free meals if they meet the specific income guidelines. View the eligibility chart on the Oregon Department of Education website. Eligible families can apply for benefits for the 2022-23 school year on or after July 1, when the new application is available.

Applications for meal benefits for the next school year cannot be distributed before July 1, and any applications processed before July 1 will result in meal benefits for only the first few days of the next school year.

It's important to submit those forms, because every eligible form not submitted means lost resources for schools, as well as missed opportunities. Some additional benefits of applying, beyond no-cost meals, may include:

• Before- and after-school academic and enrichment programs

• Guidance and college counselors

• Health and wellness services

• Fee waivers for college applications and admissions tests

• Resources for classrooms, teachers and children

• Reduced fees on sports, school events and school-run programs

• Reduced fees on internet service, phone service, public transit and community programs

For more information, contact Lori Gamboa at 503-678-7108 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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