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Eugene 4J will offer free meals to all students this school year


The Eugene 4J School District announced it’s using revenue from the district budget to offer free breakfast and lunch for all students this school year.

The federal waiver that allowed for universal free school meals expired on June 30th. Eugene 4J decided to continue to offer meals because many families are still struggling to recover from the pandemic, and because eating healthy food positively affects students’ academic performance and behavior.

The district asks families who qualify for free and reduced lunch to help by filling out the state’s confidential free meal application. The new income guidelines offer assistance to a broader group; for example, a family of four with income up to $83,000 a year will qualify. Approved applications can save the district more than $800 per student, money that can then be used for other purposes.

Karen Richards joined KLCC as a volunteer reporter in 2012, and became a freelance reporter at the station in 2015. In addition to news reporting, she’s contributed to several feature series for the station, earning multiple awards for her reporting.