Free meals for everyone will end at three Waccamaw cafeterias
The days of free meals for all students at every school in the county are over.
Students at Waccamaw Intermediate, Waccamaw Middle, Waccamaw High and Georgetown High schools who don’t qualify for free meals will once again have to pay.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of Agriculture waived all fees for meals. That waiver expired on July 1.
“We really battled and fought at the state level, and national level in school nutrition to try to get those waivers extended,” said Brent Streett, the district’s executive director of food service. “It’s been two years. How are you going to ask people to come back now after two years to start paying for lunch again?”
Students at the 14 other schools in the district will still eat free under the federal government’s Community Eligibility Provision, which the district has participated in for about a decade.
Streett stressed that the district would never refuse to give a child food because their family couldn’t and didn’t pay. There are also no plans to follow some other districts that give different food, like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, to children whose families didn’t pay.
“We just don’t believe in that. We’re supposed to feed the kids,” Streett said. “Even if they owe money, we still provide them a hot lunch, although they can’t buy extra stuff.”
To apply for free or reduced meals go to lunchapplication.com. Parents or guardians only need to submit one application per family, not per child. Paper applications can be picked up and returned to all schools.
Eligibility is based on household income; a child’s status as foster, homeless, migrant or runaway; and participation in an assistance program.
U.S. citizenship or immigration status is not a factor in eligibility.
Families who have received a letter from the district that their children are already approved do not have to submit an application.
More information on district menus and payment options is on the district’s website .