The Santa Maria-Bonita School District will continue serving meals to students under the National School Lunch/School Breakfast Programs for the 2022-2023 school year.
The school district stated in a press release that all students in the district will be given breakfast and lunch at no charge under the Community Eligibility Provision.
The district says through this program students are able to receive two free, healthy meals while paperwork is reduced for schools and families.
Students participating in after-school programs will also receive dinner at no cost.
California will be the first state to implement a statewide Universal Meals Program for school children starting in the 2022-2023 academic year.
The California State Legislature allocated funds to provide additional state meal reimbursement to school districts to cover the cost of the Universal Meals Program.
SMBSD says they have been providing free breakfast and lunch meals to all students in the district through a variety of federal and state eligibility programs since the 2005-2006 school year.
In addition to providing meals at no charge, the SMBSD Food Service Department says they will provide free fresh fruit or vegetable snacks to students at 12 elementary schools at least three times a week in the new school year.
This recess-time snack is made possible through the state’s Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Program Grant.
SMBSD food service staff members will be found on school playgrounds at morning recess with a cart of fresh fruits or vegetables beginning September 6. Examples of some exotic fruits and vegetables served to students in the past are rambutans, finger limes, star fruit, dragon fruit, lychees, and rainbow carrots.