Why lunch is still free at AHS

All students at AHS are eligible to receive school breakfast and lunches during the school day free of charge. This comes as a result of AHS being one of the few public schools in Fairfax County participating in the Community Eligibility Provision.

Earlier this summer, free school lunches ended in many schools. However, Fairfax County Public Schools has announced that they are continuing to provide a few schools in their county with free meals throughout the day. 

Fairfax County Public Schools is participating in the Community Eligibility Provision which allows schools in high-poverty and low-income areas to get breakfast and lunches for free at no charge for all students during the school day. AHS falls under the guidelines for the Community Eligibility Provision, allowing all students to receive free second breakfast and lunch throughout the day.

The Community Eligibility Provision was firstly introduced by the Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 as a solution for schools in high-poverty areas. The Community Eligibility Provision is only available at schools with 40% or more of their students coming from low-income families. 

“It’s convenient for students who struggle financially,” freshman Linh Tran said. “Without having to worry about whether or not they can afford lunch, students can now focus more on their studies and other things.” 

According to the Fairfax County Public Schools website list, a total of 34 schools are receiving free breakfast and lunches throughout the 2022-2023 school year. These 34 schools are made up of two high schools, three middle schools, and 29 elementary schools. 

“Having free breakfast and lunch is a good way for students who may have missed out on food at home because they are still able to get food at school for free,” freshman Gina Chae said. 

Students being able to not have to pay for lunch and breakfast during the school day will not only benefit them through their education by allowing them to have the nutrients they need to get through the day, but it will also help families who may not be able to afford to have to pay for their child’s meals every day financially. 

“Lunch being free for all students can help parents and guardians spend less on school lunches and instead on different things,” freshman Carolina Valenzuela-Rodriguez said.