Gateway Regional School District Adds Middle and High School Free Lunch Program

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Middle and high school students in the Gateway Regional School District will receive free lunches when classes begin in late August.

Tasha Hartley manages district food services, which serves students in Huntington, Russell, Blandford, Chester, Montgomery, Middlefield and Worthington, Massachusetts.

Hartely said that while lunches will be free this year, there is still a free and reduced lunch form to fill out.

“It’s important to get the applications right so they can qualify for other programs,” she said.

These other programs include SNAP – or what was food stamps, P-EBT and MassHealth. Hartley said the district fed more high school and middle school students last year than before, due to a federal pandemic free lunch program that has since expired. The district’s two elementary schools already qualified for the free lunch service, due to their low-income student populations.

For the upcoming school year, Governor Charlie Baker signed a new one-time investment of $110 million to support a pilot free school lunch program for K-12 students. The anti-hunger organization Project Bread says Massachusetts is among five states offering free lunches to students this school year.

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