KALISPELL — Free breakfast and lunch will be available for all Kalispell students starting Monday thanks to a waiver passed by the United States Department of Agriculture.
The universal free meals program runs through Dec. 31 and aims to help families struggling with unemployment and food insecurity during the coronavirus pandemic.
All students in the school district qualify for free meals without having to fill out a free and reduced lunch application.
Kalispell Schools Food Service Director Jana Graham says the free universal meals are also available for remote learners. Remote learners wanting to partake in the free meals program are asked to contact Graham at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (406) 751-3646.
Graham tells MTN News the universal meals will be similar to the school district's free meal program that ran during the summer months.
“It’s similar to the program that we run in the summertime when we take our food truck around and breakfast and lunches our free for the summer, so we’re just extending that program through December,” said Graham.
Graham encourages families to still fill out the free and reduced lunch forms on the school district's website, but said that information is not required.
He added that outlying districts including Smith Valley Elementary, Cayuse Prairie Elementary, Fairmont Egan Elementary, Helena Flats School, and Trinity Lutheran School all qualify for the free universal meal program.