Free Breakfast For All Students Again

Morgan Henschen, Reporter

Governor Tom Wolf announced free breakfast for all K-12 students for this school year starting October 1.

According to the official Governor’s website, this is a  $21.5 million plan with a goal to provide free school breakfasts to all state schools–which would be around 1.7 million students. 

The money provided for free breakfast is funded through last year’s school food services budgets. 

According to Penn Live, because this program already allocated the funding previously , Tom Wolf spokeswoman Beth Rementer said “no legislative approval is required to launch the program in schools and child care centers that participate in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast program.”

Ensuring students eat meals at school has always been a priority in Pennsylvania, so families of four whose yearly income is less than $36,075 were able to file for free or reduced lunches for their children. 

In our district, families were notified of this option via e-mail, but you can click here to review the guidelines on our school website.

Of course, many families struggled greatly during covid, so the state instituted free lunches for all students last year. 

At the start of this school year, though, there was no such plan in effect. 

According to Penn Live, research shows that 16% more students ate breakfast when lunch was free, than in years previously when they had to pay. 

Wolf said he found having 16% of students starting their day hungry to be unacceptable.

“Currently 14.72% of KD students are receiving breakfast each day, prior to all breakfast meals being free, 5.46% of KD students were receiving breakfast on average” said Director of Chartwells Karen Graham.

To aid with the increase of students buying breakfast, an extra line has opened in the cafeteria to shorten the wait time.

The breakfast menu offers many selections for students for a higher chance of anyone getting a meal they enjoy. Foods like cereals, waffles, Poptarts, and fruits are all offered.

In order to make a full breakfast meal, and it to be free, students must have a fruit and breakfast product.

Junior football player Logan Schepers said he “loved the free breakfasts, I save money and can always get food. It makes it a lot cheaper throughout the year, and helps me stay awake for the morning.”

It is unknown if this free lunch will end at the conclusion of the school year. This call will be decided by the next governor of Pennsylvania, as the current governor Wolf will resign in January.