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School district to end universal free meals due to supply chain and labor issues

St. Johns County School District will no longer provide free meals to all students beginning in December.
A child receives food in the cafeteria
Photo: Shutterstock

St. Johns County School District in St. Augustine, Fla., has announced it will stop serving free meals for all students starting in December.

In a message posted on the district's website, Nutrition Director Sean Prevatt said that “to reduce the demand on our supply chain and accommodate current staffing levels,” the district will revert to charging for school meals as of Dec. 1. Families with students who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals can fill out an application to receive school meals at no cost or a reduced cost.

Ten schools in the district participate in the Community Eligibility Provision and will continue to provide free meals for all students.

Throughout the pandemic, the USDA has extended its summer meal waivers to allow districts to serve school meals to all children under 18 free of charge. The current waivers are set to expire in June 2022.

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