The Oxford School District is asking all parents with children in an Oxford school to take a few minutes and complete the free and reduced lunch application online.
OSD participates in the USDA National Breakfast, Lunch and Snack Programs, and meals are available to all students. Some children pay the full advertised price, but low- and moderate-income children may qualify for free or reduced-price meals.
“At this time, we are asking all parents to complete the application because the number receiving free or reduced lunch in our district is a part of our annual federal programs application,” said SuzAnne Liddell, chief of accountability and accreditation.
Due to COVID-19, meals were free to all students this past school year so fewer families completed the application. Some may not realize they need to fill out the application if they wish to continue to receive free meals for their children if they qualify for the upcoming school years.
“Schools in which children from low-income families make up at least 40 percent of enrollment are eligible to use Title I funds to operate schoolwide programs,” said Heather Leonard, public information officer for the OSD.
If not enough students qualify for the free meal programs, the district could be at risk of losing funding for Bramlett’s PreK program, technology resources and services on all elementary campuses.
For funding purposes, Liddell said this year schools will be allowed to use free and reduced lunch numbers from the 2019-2020 school year.
“Nonetheless, we are already looking toward the future,” she said. “In the 2022-2023 school year, we anticipate needing actual numbers of free and reduced students who attended during the 2021-2022 school year. Therefore, like many schools in Mississippi, we are asking all families to complete the lunch application.”