KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A new act is affecting how U.S. schools will feed children during the 2022-2023 school year.
At the start of the pandemic, federal waivers helped millions of kids access meals both in school and during the summer at no cost.
In June 2022, President Biden signed the Keep Kids Fed Act. This act extended some of the food assistance measures in place during the pandemic.
However, the Keep Kids Fed Act does not extend the waiver that keeps breakfast and lunches free to all students regardless of their families' incomes, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Knox County Schools announced it will stop serving free breakfast and lunch to all students for the upcoming school year. The only students who will receive no-cost or reduced-price meals during the 2022-23 school year are those whose free and reduced-price meal application has been approved or those who attend a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school.
In Knox County, families now have to pay $2 for breakfast; elementary students will owe $2.75 for lunch, and middle and high schoolers will need to pay $3 for lunch. Parents will need to fill out a household income application to qualify for free or reduced lunch during the upcoming school year.
Blount County Schools will also only offer free or reduced-price lunches to students who qualify. In order to see if your child qualifies, you must complete a free/reduced meal application and be approved. Those applications will open on July 26.
Only two Anderson County schools will be affected. Students needing free meals at Norris Elementary and Anderson County High School will need to apply.
Maryville City Schools is returning to normal pricing, according to a Facebook post by the district. Lunch and breakfast prices differ per school. Applications for free and reduced lunch will need to be filled out and submitted. You can do that here.
Claiborne County Schools will continue to provide free breakfast and lunches to students for the 2022-2023 school year.
Sevier County Schools had yet to make a decision, according to Assistant Superintendent Tony Ogle.
We will continue to update this list as more school districts announce decisions on free and reduced-price lunches.