SPARKS, Nev. - August 08, 2022
Students are returning to classrooms with
additional resources this year. The State of Nevada has invested $75 million
for free school meals in Nevada schools operating the National School Lunch
Program (NSLP) to continue pandemic recovery and ensure students have food to
eat by providing free school breakfast and lunch. NSLP is administered through
the Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA).
“We are so happy to be able to provide this
assistance to families throughout the state,” said NDA Director Jennifer Ott.
“The NDA is committed to addressing food insecurity throughout Nevada and this
will have a great impact.”
School meals have been free
since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March of 2020 through U.S.
Department of Agriculture waivers. Prior to the pandemic, the only meals
provided for free or at a reduced rate were at schools operating the NSLP to
students whose families met eligibility requirements. The approval of this
funding will provide another year of free meals to schools operating NSLP and
allow families more time to recover.
“It’s important that all families fill out the
Free and Reduced Lunch eligibility application to ensure we are utilizing
funding as best we can,” said Director Ott. “Completing the eligibility
application is also about more than just school meals, it provides important
data that allows schools to receive additional funding and benefits to support
students and teachers.”
The more families that fill out the Free and
Reduced Lunch eligibility applications will increase the amount of federal
funding through NSLP and reduce the amount of state funds needed, allowing them
to be used in other ways. Families that have not filled out the Free and
Reduced Lunch eligibility application, regardless of anticipated eligibility,
should reach out to their school to complete the application.
Free school meals is one of several resources
available to students and their families this year including the Affordable
Connectivity Program providing a $30/month discount on home
broadband services, child care resources and other food assistance
services. To learn more about other food assistance programs through the NDA,
About the Nevada Department of Agriculture
The Nevada Department of
Agriculture (NDA) mission is to preserve, protect and promote
Nevada’s agriculture. The department has 225 dedicated employees providing
services in its five divisions, Administrative Services, Animal Industry,
Measurement Standards, Food and Nutrition, and Plant Health and Compliance. The
department’s $288 million budget facilitates regulatory and administrative work
in agriculture and food manufacturing industries, protecting public and
environmental health and worker safety, and providing food distribution and
oversight for the United States Department of Agriculture’s school and
community nutrition programs.