Hold your wallets – Lunch will be free again next year

What does this program entail? Our Assistant Manager of Nutrition for Enochs provides some insight.


Brooke Brogan

Inside the Modesto City Schools Nutrition Center

Augustine Manzano, Reporter

Across California, roughly one and a half million kids cannot afford to pay for school lunches.

This is a problem that many parents and children have to deal with, day-in and day-out. However, this is a problem that will not continue, as the Department of Education and the state of California have come together and made a decision to solve this issue.

The solution is called the Universal Meals Program, which will allow students to get school lunches without worrying about being able to afford the food provided. Thanks to an interview with Andrea Bagar, students will be better able to understand what this program entails and how long it will be in effect.

Mrs. Bagar, the Assistant Manager of Nutrition for Enochs, explained in further detail what the program will entail for students.

“Students won’t need to worry about having to pay for school lunches for a little while,” said Bagar. Bagar went on to say that this new program will cover students for three years, even though the state did not necessarily need to go with the program.

When asked about how this will affect the availability of certain lunch items, she stated that it all depends on which items are in demand.

“Food items being on the table really depends on how many people are wanting certain food items… food will definitely still be available, so there’s no need to worry about us running out of it,” added Bagar.

Ms. Bagar also acknowledges that they often ran out of food at the beginning of the year, and they are now more prepared for the needs of the students. 

When she was asked about the topic of cash on students’ accounts for lunch, and how students would receive the leftover money on their account, she stated, “Those students who are leaving can get their money back through nutritionists at the window. If there is a large amount of money on an account, you can request for a check instead of going to the window, which you will get in the mail.”

Mrs. Bagar took some time to do further research, and she found out that students can get their money from their account at any time.

California will be subsidizing the cost of lunches for students for years to come, which will drastically help students  get the nutrition they need  without having to worry about the cost. Thanks to the Board of Education and Mrs. Bagar’s explanation of the program, students will be able to fully understand the circumstances of the deal.