LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — Over the last two years, many students in the Midstate have come to depend on free lunch, which has come to an end at some districts.  Federal funding to cover school lunches for all students, regardless of income, ended on June 30th.

“We certainly anticipate it being a shock on family budgets with the current economic climate, with predictions that we are or we aren’t in a recession, inflation, things are costing more,” said Troy Portser, Director of School and Community Information at the Elizabethtown School District.

Now this puts the responsibility back on parents.

“Meals will cost at the elementary level $2.55 and at the high school level $2.65 cents and it doesn’t seem like a lot but when you factor multiple days of the week it could add depending on how many children are in family,” Portser said.

Troy Portser says the Elizabethtown School District has been proactive about informing parents, reminding them that the program was pandemic-related.

“We posted on our website that this waiver has expired and we also used our notification system to let families know via email and a text message,” Portser said.

It won’t affect the Harrisburg School District or the School District of Lancaster. They qualify for targeted funding.

Manheim Township will have to go back to what it did before the pandemic, where typically only 30 percent of students received free or reduced lunch.

In the meantime, Portser encourages all families to apply.

“If they think they’re eligible for free and reduced lunch, they should apply for free and reduced lunch. There are other benefits beyond just receiving a free meal,” he added.