Important update: All student meals are free for the 2023-24 school year

free meal art

Minisink Valley school community:

We’re pleased to advise you that all student meals are FREE for the 2023-24 school year! This includes breakfast and lunch.

What’s the reason?

  • Federal regulations 7 CFR 210.14(b), 220.7(e)(1)(iv) and 225.15(4) limit non-profit food service accounts (the district’s “Lunch Fund”) to no more than three month’s worth of operating expenses as a fund balance.
  • The free meals provided during COVID-19, along with the increased reimbursement rates to the food service program, resulted in the district’s school lunch fund exceeding this limit, as has happened with many other school districts in New York State.
  •  The district has an approved plan to reduce the non-profit food service account so the balance is within the three months’ operating expense allowed.
  • Part of that plan involves replacing the serving lines in both the High School and Middle School cafeterias.
  • The district is also replacing steamers, milk coolers, ond ovens along with upgrading the refrigerant in a walk-in freezer and walk-in cooler with environmentally friendly refrigerant.
  • However, families are highly encouraged to continue to fill out applications for free and/or reduced school meals, many other services are available to families who qualify other than the free and/or reduced meals.

Important notes

  • There are tight restrictions regarding what can be purchased with school lunch funds.
  • Money from the school lunch fund can only be used for specific restricted purchases.
  • Money from the school lunch fund cannot be used for any expenses not directly related to the food service program.  The district cannot use these funds in any other capacity than as has been approved by the State Department of Education (SED) .
  • Students who have negative school lunch account balances will still receive free breakfast and lunch for the entire school year. However, they will not be allowed to purchase any snacks or a la carte items as long as their school lunch account has a negative balance.  If you owe money on your student’s account, please pay that amount in full so your student can purchase snacks or a la carte items.

Please direct any questions to the district’s Food Services Department at 845-355-5116.