KPS announces free & reduced meal program for 2023-2024 school year

Local4 News at 5
Published: Jun. 26, 2023 at 7:01 PM CDT
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KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - Kearney Public Schools announces open registration for the Free and Reduced Meal Program for the 2023-2024 school year. The program, in alignment with the National School Lunch Program, aims to provide free and reduced-price meals to eligible students, ensuring that every child has access to nutritious meals during the school day.

Families must complete a new application every school year to participate in the Free/Reduced program.  For the first 30 school days of the upcoming year, students’ meal status will remain the same as the previous year. However, starting from September 27, 2023, full payment for meals will be required if a new application is not submitted on time. It is important to note that benefits will begin on the day the application is processed, and any outstanding payments must be settled.

Free and Reduced Meal Program applications will be processed within five school days. Families can submit their applications any time during the year after July 1, 2023, or if there has been a change in income. All families must complete a new application annually, with the application available from July 1st of each year for the upcoming school year.

To request a replacement copy of the Letter of Eligibility, which verifies participation in the program, parents or guardians can contact the Bearcat Diner office at 308-698-8159.

To enhance accessibility, the online meal application will be available in multiple languages, including English, Spanish, Burmese, Chinese, French, Korean, Russian, and Vietnamese, starting July 1, 2023, for the 2023-2024 school year.

Students in all grades are eligible for free or reduced-price meals. The reduced meal prices will be $0.30 for breakfast and $0.40 for lunch. Free meals are at no charge.  Extra items beyond the regular meal will be subject to additional charges.

To apply for the Free and Reduced Meal Program, families have two options:

  • Online application (preferred method): Families can visit the website to set up an account and access the application.  A required family key will be sent through regular mail after July 1, or families can contact the office at 308-698-8159 or 308-698-8158 to obtain the key.
  • Paper application: Paper applications will be available at the Bearcats Diner.

Kearney Public Schools is committed to ensuring every student has access to nutritious meals, regardless of their financial circumstances. The Free and Reduced Meal Program is essential in supporting students’ well-being and academic success.

For more information about the Free and Reduced Meal Program, contact the Bearcat Diner office at 308-698-8159.