At the onset of the pandemic, Congress gave USDA flexibility in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to issue a number of waivers so that schools and meal program operators could have the flexibility they need to continue to feed children. This allowed Alachua County Public Schools to offer free meals during the school year to all students at all schools. However, these flexibilities will expire on June 30, 2022. This means some schools within our District will no longer be able to provide free meals to all students during the 2022-23 school year.
Those schools include Buchholz High, Chiles Elementary, Ft. Clarke Middle, Gainesville High, Hidden Oak Elementary, High Springs Community, Kanapaha Middle, Meadowbrook Elementary, Newberry High, Oak View Middle, PAM@Loften High, Santa Fe High, Talbot Elementary, and Wiles Elementary. *(Students who qualify for free and reduced-price meals at these schools will still be able to get them, but their families will need to submit an application).
The bipartisan Support Kids Not Red Tape Act would extend the flexibilities for an additional two summers and the 2022-2023 school year to give schools and families time to recover from the economic impacts of the pandemic while transitioning back to normal meal operations.
ACCPTA is asking that Florida Senators Senator Marco Rubio and Senator Rick Scott support and cosponsor this legislation, so our schools and families do not lose the lifeline upon which they have relied during increasingly hard economic times.
Your can contact your Senators here: