Central Regional School District Students to Receive Free Lunch Again Next Academic Year

By: Kaitlyn Kudriavetz, Writer / Follow South Jersey Child Welfare Intern

BAYVILLE, N.J. — School lunches will continue to be free of charge for all Central Regional School District students, regardless of their parents’ income level, for the rest of 2020-21 and through the 2021-22 academic year.

In a letter to parents sent on May 12, Business Administrator/Board Secretary Kevin O’Shea urged parents to complete an application for free and reduced lunch. The application can be accessed through the parent portal and can be found under the “Meal Application” tab.

These free meals are made possible through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds, allowing every student access to cost-free lunches. Students who want to get access to free lunches must have their order placed in advance on the Central Region School District website, and they can do so here.

Families who qualify for free and reduced lunch programs may also qualify for additional monetary assistance that is offered through the Pandemic EBT Programs, which are programs geared to help families purchase food for school-aged children.

This program grants a monthly total of $122.76 per child for students who are fully virtual, and $61.38 per child per month for students who are attending school on a hybrid schedule. Students who are attending school entirely in-person are not eligible to receive benefits.

Information regarding the P-EBT Benefits for the 2021-22 are in the works. Concrete plans about Summer P-EBT have not yet been announced. However, the state has passed legislation requiring schools to reopen for full-time, in-person instruction next academic year. Remote learning is only permitted to be offered in emergency situations, such as a local COVID-19 outbreak, and not as a primary method of course delivery.

This article was produced by a Follow South Jersey news intern thanks to a grant provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through the New Jersey Health Initiatives program to create hyper-local news to meet the informational and health needs of the City of Bridgeton, N.J.