Free school meals continue for K-12 Pennsylvanians in 2021-22 school year


FILE – (AP Photo/Morgan Lee, file)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — K-12 schools in Pennsylvania will have the option to continue free school meals during the 2021-22 school year according to an announcement from the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

On Monday, the Department said a group of waivers and eligibility guidelines were released enabling schools to offer free meals without determining eligibility based on the student’s household income. 

“I’m grateful to the USDA for their commitment to combatting hunger throughout this pandemic,” said Secretary of Education Noe Ortega. “I encourage schools to take advantage of these waivers, which help ensure learners across Pennsylvania continue to have access to free, nutritious meals.”

Schools that chose not to serve free meals through the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) will determine eligibility for free and reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) using federal income guidelines. To check the annually updated income eligibility guidelines for the 2021-22 school year, click here.

To apply, households already receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) only need to include the SNAP or TANF case number on their application if they were not notified of their automatic eligibility by the school.

Other households can find more information on Pennsylvania’s COMPASS website.

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