State’s public school students to receive free meals

Posted on Jul 29, 2021 in Capitol Connection, Featured, Main
DOE students can get free meals for 2021-22.

DOE students can get free meals for 2021-22.

All students at Hawai‘i’s 257 public schools will receive free breakfast and lunch for the 2021-2022 school year, thanks to a nationwide waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Federal funds will reimburse state education departments for meal costs. The waiver aims to minimize the possible spread of COVID-19 at schools by eliminating meal payment transactions in cafeterias.

“This has been a challenging time for our ‘ohana, and I am proud to continue our safety net support to improve food security for our students and provide economic relief for our families,” said former Department of Education superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto. Waipahu High School principal Keith Hayashi has assumed the post of interim superintendent. Parents and guardians who have not yet purchased meal credits for the upcoming school year do not need to take any action. Those who have already purchased meal credits in advance may choose to leave funds in for the next school year or contact their child’s school for a refund.

Also, the state Department of Health has updated its COVID-19 guidance for schools with “multiple-layered prevention strategies.” These include urging eligible students, teachers and staff to get vaccinated, continuing indoor mask wearing, frequent hand washing, staying in small groups and physical distancing, where possible. Currently, vaccinations are authorized only for children age 12 and older.

Read more in the August Capitol Connection newsletter.

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