APS calling on community to help ‘Lunch Tray Program’

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(ABC 6 News) – The free school lunch programs that began during the pandemic have ended, and starting in the 2022-2023 school year families will have to register for free or reduced lunches if they are struggling to pay, and not everyone will qualify.

Now, Austin Public Schools is starting a program called The Lunch Tray Project that will help families that don’t qualify for free lunches.

The school district is asking for donations from the community to help kids and families.

"What we get goes right to a student account and that’s what’s kind of great about this system. There is no administration cost to it, our office does it as part of our daily job. So, every penny we get goes into a student lunch account. I know sometimes when you give money it doesn’t all go to what you want it to, this goes to a kid for sure every day," said Director of Food and Nutrition Services at Austin Public Schools, Mary Weikum.

The district predicts well over half the student population will be receiving free lunches during the 2022-2023 school year.

Austin Public Schools does offer free breakfast regardless of income, for all students.