NewsCovering Colorado


Southern Colorado school district's free and reduced meal sign-up now open, gives district federal dollars

Posted at 9:47 AM, Jul 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-14 11:14:07-04

EL PASO COUNTY — Parents whose students attend school in Academy, District-20 are able to start signing their kids up for the free and reduced meal program starting Thursday.

School lunches are free in Colorado through a statewide program, Healthy School Meals for All, approved by voters in November of 2022. Parent registration will allow the school access to federal dollars, which provides things like after-school programs, technology, and transportation.

“We strongly encourage all families to continue to apply for that free and reduced meal application. For school districts, it’s more than a meal application. It helps to provide school funding to ensure that students receive the support they need in their classrooms,” said Sam Briggs, director of communications at Widefield District 3.

Proposition FF brings back free meals, provides for 60,000 local learners

Those who are eligible for SNAP benefits (also known as food stamps or food assistance) are being asked to wait until August 21 before completing their application.

District-20's applications for signing up can be found here. More information on the state and federal programs can be found on the district's website.

Families who qualify may also be eligible to receive discounted school fees, athletics, bus passes, device fees, and other assistance.

Other districts are expected to announce sign-up opportunities in the near future.

Widefield District 3 is just one of several local schools who benefit from parents applying for this. The government is able to use the data from those who fill out the applications to equip our local schools with resources to be successful.

“This is more than a meal application. This application is so essential to school districts when it comes to funding. We need those dollars to help support your student in the classroom. So we just say just one application can ensure that all students in Widefield District-three get the supports that they need," said Briggs.

This includes lowering or waiving classroom fees and laptop fees. It also helps each school district obtain grants that can be used to better our schools.

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