U.S. Department of Agriculture waivers in place since March 2020 as part of pandemic relief will end in June. The waivers were extended to all students attending schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program. This means that the free school lunches and breakfasts offered to all students for the past two years, regardless of income, is coming to an end at the conclusion of the current school year.
Ridgefield families have not needed to apply for free or reduced-price school meals since the 2019-2020 school year due to this COVID-19 relief program. After the program expires, the Ridgefield School District will be returning to its former school lunch program.
For the 2022-23 school year, families can apply for free or reduced-price meals starting July 1. Eligibility is based on federal income guidelines or participation in other programs such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP, Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or TANF.
An important change to the school lunch program also goes into effect starting the 2022-23 school year. The Washington State legislature has waived the copay for students who qualify for reduced priced lunches. This change effectively makes all meals free for students who qualify for the federal reduced meal price category.
Students who are homeless, migrant, runaway, in foster care or who are enrolled in Head Start or other eligible pre-kindergarten programs may also be eligible for free meals. More information and links to application forms can be found on the district website at www.ridgefieldsd.org/page/food-services. Please make sure to fill this out and apply so that you can continue to get your benefits if you qualify.
Families are welcome and encouraged to load funds on their student’s food service accounts early. Families can do so online by accessing the Skyward family access payment portal at https://wa-ridgefield.intouchreceipting.com/. If you need assistance accessing your Skyward family access account you can contact Tyler Freedman at the District Office at Tyler.Freedman@ridgefieldsd.org, or (360) 619-1392.Families can also send payments to the school offices where your children attend while school is in session.