Federal grant provides free lunch for every student


Alysha Wallace

Senior Kylee Lescas talks to cafeteria worker Adam after buying her lunch. Due to the new grant, more students are buying school lunch which makes the lines a lot longer. “We are going through roughly 400-500 more full meals a day with this grant,” Head Chef Jon Harbaugh said.

All district students, K-12, have access to free breakfast and lunch through a federal grant passed for the 2021-22 year.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will continue reimbursing schools and childcare centers for free meals to all students regardless of their home income situation.

“Our workload has changed significantly,” Head Chef Jon Harbaugh said. “Not only have we gone from a pre-Covid staff of 17 down to 9, but we have greatly increased the amount of meals done every day.” 

Buying lunch is very convenient for many students and families this year.

“My parents want me to buy lunch because it makes it easier on them,” junior Abigail Chertainy said “Now they don’t have to worry about going to the store and getting me things for my lunches every week.” 

Along with buying lunch being the cheaper option, it also saves many students time in the mornings.

“I am able to sleep in a bit longer or take longer getting ready in the mornings since I don’t have to worry about packing my lunch,” Chertainy said. “It saves me about 5-10 minutes every morning.”

Buying lunch is also super easy for the cafeteria staff. They don’t have to worry about ringing up every part of the meal for each student.

“Our computer system keeps track of who gets a meal,” Harbaugh said. “If a student comes back through with a second meal it blocks out the option to ring it up as free.”