School supplies and meals will be free for Auburn students

The district signed up for a federal program for free meals.

Auburn School District students won’t have to worry about paying for meals or school supplies during the upcoming school year, according to the district.

All students attending Auburn schools are eligible for free meals beginning this September through the end of the 2026 school year, the district said. The district was approved for the Community Eligibility Provision, a federal program that reimburses schools for the cost of meals.

According to the USDA, the Community Eligibility Provision allows low-income schools and school districts to serve meals to all of their students at no cost to the students.

“Being able to continue to provide healthy, nutritious meals for all students is a great support for families in Auburn,” Associate Superintendent Cindi Blansfield said.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the USDA issued the district a waiver, allowing the district to provide meals at no cost to students. However, that program did not extend into the 2022-23 school year. If the district had not been approved for the Community Eligibility Provision, families would have had to pay for their kids’ school meals this year.

In addition to free meals, the district is also providing all of its students with the required school supplies for the 2022-23 school year, according to the district. Grade-specific school supplies will be given to students during the first week of school and then replenished throughout the school year.

The district is expected to spend $600,000 on school supplies for its students for the upcoming school year.