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Students in Ohio public schools eligible for free lunch for 2021-22 academic year

There is no sign up or registration required, and the Ohio Department of Education said the more kids take advantage of the program, the better.

All children in Ohio public schools will get free breakfast and lunch at school for the 2021-2022 school year.  

The Ohio Department of Education says every child is eligible, and parents do not have to sign up or register their child. 

The Ohio Department of Education said the program comes from waivers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  

Kids can get these free meals whether they go to school in person or online from home.  

The Ohio Department of Education said reimbursement rates, the money they’ll get back from each meal a kid gets from school, will be even higher this year.  

“That’s going to help offset the costs of food a lot of our schools are finding that our food costs are much higher this year,” said Brigette Hires, the director of the agency’s Office of Nutrition. “It’s also going to help offset the cost of additional supplies they’ll need.” 

Officials at Olentangy Schools are also on board with the plan that they said will benefit everyone, from those working in food services to parents.  

“[It] saves parents time so they don’t have to shop for meals. They don’t have to prep for meals,” said Bethany Lenko, who is the food service supervisor for the school district. “They don’t have to pack them, and most importantly, students are receiving a healthy balanced meal while they’re at school.” 

The Ohio Department of Education said it’s completely up to each school district on how meals are distributed.  

The department advises that parents should give their district’s nutrition office a call or take a look at district newsletters to see what they and their children should know. 

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