School meals will be full price

            The St. James School District announced on Friday the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) waiver that provided free meals to students during the COVID-19 pandemic has expired and school meals will no longer be automatically free for everyone.

            Parents and guardians will need to submit a meal application to qualify for free or reduced breakfast and lunches for the upcoming school year. Every family, regardless of income, is encouraged to fill out the free/reduced meal application at to see if they qualify for free or cheaper meals.
            Breakfast costs this year will be $1.50 per meal at the Lucy Wortham James Elementary School and $1.75 at the middle and high school. Lunch costs will be $2 at the elementary school and $2.25 at the middle and high school. Reduced price is $0.30 for breakfast and $0.40 for lunch for those that qualify.
            Families who qualify for the free/reduced price meals include those where all children in the household receiving benefits from the Food Stamp Program/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, or Temporary Assistance/Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, are eligible for free meals.
            Foster children that are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court, children participating in their school’s Head Start program also qualify for free meals, children who meet the definition of homeless, runaway, or migrant are all eligible for free meals for those who apply.
            Children may receive free or reduced price meals if the household income is within the limits on the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines. A full list of incomes to household size can be found on the districts website at
            Only one Free and Reduced Price School Meals application is needed per household for families with multiple children attending school in the district. Those who qualified last year should still fill out a new application this year, as the application is only valid for one school year at a time.
            Children in households participating in WIC may be eligible for free or reduced meal prices, but will need to fill out an application to confirm their family qualifies.
            Families can apply at any time, so if circumstances change during the school year, a family may fill out an application during the year to see if they fall within the requirements.
            Anyone with questions about the free or reduced price program is encouraged to contact the school Nutrition Department at 573-261-3712 or by emailing Nutrition Director Linda Webster at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..