Free meals for low-income students in School Districts 65 and 202 will now be available through next June. The Department of Agriculture has extended the free meal distribution program, which was scheduled to expire Dec. 31.

In a normal, non-pandemic year, meals for low income students are either free or reduced cost, depending on a family’s finances. Now they are all free. (In District 65, reduced price breakfasts were 30 cents, lunches were 40 cents).

About 38% of students Evanston’s two school districts qualify for the free and reduced price meal program.

Because both districts are currently on remote education due to COVID-19, the breakfasts and lunches have to be picked up (enough for the entire week if requested) at designated sites. If and when school reopens, the meals will be available both to students who return to the building and to those who continue on remote learning.

District 65 spokesperson Melissa Messinger says the district has been distributing about 1,000 free meals per day this fall. In a normal year it was about 2,500 per day.

Order forms and information on curbside pickup locations are available online.

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Leave a comment

The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.