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VHS Students To Apply For Free Lunch

Students at Vidalia High School who were previously receiving free meals before the pandemic or are entering 9th grade are being encouraged to apply for free or reduced lunch fees for the 2022-2023 School Year, as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) free lunch waivers ended on June 30, 2022. For the past two years, VHS has been able to offer breakfast and lunch to students at no charge because of the USDA’s reimbursement to the school for meals served to students, regardless of income. Yet, these waivers were not renewed, and those with a need for reduced or free lunch must apply to the Meals Plus system. J.D. Dickerson Primary School, Sally D. Meadows Elementary School, and J.R. Trippe Middle School all will continue to provide free meals to students through the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), which is a non-pricing meal service option for schools and school districts in low-income areas. Currently, VHS does not qualify for CEP, like the other schools, because of the low number of students in the means-tested programs of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

Because of this, along with the absence of the USDA waivers, students who were receiving free meals before the pandemic or are entering 9th grade will be given a “grace period” of 30 days to fill out their application for the Meals Plus system before they begin to be charged for lunch.

Applications may be completed through three methods: online at www. lunchapplication. com through the use of the student’s identification number, through forms within a gold packet received at the beginning of school, or through a printed copy of the forms, which may be found on the school’s website. All forms must be fully completed to be considered for the program. If you are eligible for this program but wish to refuse services, write the student’s first and last name on the application, mark “REFUSED” across the front of document, and return it to the school.

Any questions regarding this program may be directed to Denise Parson (Extension 1) or Tina Wheeler (Extension 2) at 912-537-9738.

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