Free school meals to continue for MHS, Miller students

FILE PHOTO: Miller students fill their lunch trays.

All Marshalltown High School and Miller Middle School students will continue to receive free meals this school year as part of the USDA’s Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) program, effective Thursday, Aug. 25.

MHS and Miller join the Marshalltown CSD’s remaining eight school buildings in the CEP program. That means all Bobcat students in grades K-12 will continue to receive free, nutritious meals this school year.

Because Miller and MHS student accounts will not be charged for eating school breakfast or lunch, their families are set to see significant savings. 

Estimated savings for the family of an MHS or Miller student who eats school lunch every day will total $500 this school year. For a student who eats both breakfast and lunch each school day, savings will be more than $850.

MCSD Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte said Thursday’s news is bittersweet. 

“On the one hand, we now have enough families who qualify for free and reduced meals that it warrants all families receiving free school meals from the federal government. On the other hand, with the challenges all of our families face with the country’s current economic condition and inflation, there couldn’t be a better time for this potential financial burden to be lifted,” he said. “It is comforting to know that all of our students are guaranteed two meals a day during the time school is in session.”

For those parents who would have preferred to pay for their children’s school meals, Dr. Schutte suggested they consider donating to their child’s school parent organization, booster club or another worthy cause within the Marshalltown community.

MCSD Food Service Director Lynn Large said MHS and Miller student lunch accounts charged prior to Thursday’s announcement (Wednesday, Aug. 24 and Tuesday, Aug. 23) will be refunded. That refund will go back into the student’s lunch account – to request a cash refund, please email or call 641-754-1185.