TWIN FALLS, Idaho — The Twin Falls School District will be providing free breakfast and lunch for all Twin Falls School District students.
The district says the program is only temporary, but they hope it lasts through the end of the semester. A federally funded program went into effect Wednesday that allows the students to eat for free.
The program will be in effect until the funding runs out.
"We don't know how long it will last, so we're staying just for the near future, but we're hoping it will last until the end of the semester," explained Eva Craner, the district's public information officer. "We're just excited to provide this opportunity and support to the families in our school district. We want to do everything we can to keep our community whole in these challenging times."
"Just so we can make sure our food service department has enough meals prepared for those students and that they show up at an appropriate time when those meals are ready," Craner said.
For those parents who have money in their students’ meal accounts, this money will carry forward until this program ends and students must once again pay for meals.
"For example, a parent who put 100 dollars on their lunch account a week ago, we're not going to be charging that account," Craner explained. "That hundred dollars will stay there until after the program expires and then the child can use that money for meals in the future."
The same concept applies to debits on accounts.
For parents like Heather Dietz, the pandemic has made it hard for them to make ends meet--so the program is a welcome help.
"I was lucky enough to still be a necessary worker, but it's still hard to maintain our bills and stuff when we don't have the income we could have had," Dietz said.
Dietz says she hopes in the future, all schools within the district will have a free lunch program like the ones in effect at Lincoln Elementary and Magic Valley High School.
Since the program is only temporary, the district is asking parents who are in the process of filling out applications for free and reduced lunch to still submit those applications because those statistics are tied to other federal funding streams.
The Twin Falls District isn't the only one utilizing this program. The Kimberly and Jerome School Districts have put similar programs into place.
If parents have any questions about this program, the district asks them to please contact the Food Service Department at 208-733-0134.