Districts remind that help is available for families struggling to pay for school meals and fees

Aug 18, 2022, 6:45 PM | Updated: 7:56 pm

MURRAY, Utah – Back to school also means many Utah families will be paying for school meals and fees, but districts remind that help is available for families struggling to pay.

Now that federal pandemic relief has stopped for school breakfast and lunch, parents who need assistance will again need to apply for free or reduced meals for their students.

Canyons School District implementing new school lunch program

“I think some people might be caught off guard since it was free in the last couple of years,” Scott Wihongi, the assistant superintendent at Murray School District, said.

And with families dealing with soaring inflation, school fees charged for middle and high school students can also be a challenge.

Schools in Utah can charge fees for anything from instrument rentals to sports to class costs but there is help available in the form of a fee waiver.

“State law requires schools to ensure that a fee waiver or other provisions in lieu of a fee waiver is available to any student whose parents are unable to pay a fee,” says an informational poster from the Utah State Board of Education.

“If a student is eligible for fee waivers, ALL fees must be waived,” the poster goes on to say. “This includes fees for registration, books, classes, sports, clubs, drill teams, trips, gate fees, uniforms, activity cards, lockers, extracurricular activities, team summer camps, etc.”

The state board also reminds that school fees are not permitted during the regular school day for students in grades kindergarten through sixth grade.

During his time as principal at Murray High, Wihongi said he saw how fee waivers can help students have full access to any activity or class that’s school sponsored without cost getting in the way.

“Opening the opportunities to them by helping them overcome some of these financial barriers is really impactful for many of our families out there,” he said. “We don’t want any opportunities closed off to anyone based on financial situations.”

Granite School District spokesperson Ben Horsley said families are encouraged to apply for free and reduced lunch and fee waivers even if they are unsure about eligibility

“Just realize, if you’re going through a difficult circumstance, maybe a job loss or your family’s been negatively impacted by some other factors, including COVID, there is some financial relief available to eligible families,” he said.

Both Murray and Granite districts remind that the application for free lunch is separate from the application for school fees.

“Not everyone who qualifies applies,” Wihongi said. “So it’s important that they realize if you’re eligible, please apply.”

“But it’s very important, right out of the gate here at the start of the school year, go in and see if you’re eligible,” Horsley said. “Have a quick conversation. Give a phone call to the front office staff.”

Visit the Utah State Board of Education’s website for more information and to download the application form.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

[FILE] Jail Handcuffs (KSL-TV)...
Michael Houck

Magna school teacher arrested for sexual abuse charges

A first-grade teacher is facing four felony charges of aggravated sexual abuse of a child.
21 hours ago
A group of students touring Alta View Hospital in Sandy. (Mark Less)...
Alex Cabrero

Black Physicians of Utah host Medicine Immersion Day

A local organization is encouraging Utah's Black youth to consider a career field in health and medicine to diversify the medical field.
21 hours ago
The Belvedere building, 29 S. State St (Andrew Adams)...
Andrew Adams

Bats in the Belvedere in Salt Lake City test positive for rabies

Bats in the Belvedere in Salt Lake City are testing positive for rabies, health officials warn residents and locals to use caution.
21 hours ago
"There are many rumors going around about a fight last night at the Hillcrest football game. We wou...
Brooke Williams

Rumors of a weapon at Hillcrest High School football game put to rest

Rumors of a weapon at a Hillcrest High School football game are put to rest.
21 hours ago
FILE PHOTO (Salt Lake City School District)...
Brooke Williams

Highland High School makes sure all students can participate in homecoming dance Saturday

“We are happy to announce that this year’s Homecoming Dance is FREE. Dresses, suits, transportation, and a free Chick-fil-A dinner will make for a fun tradition for all students to enjoy.”
21 hours ago
Follow @KSL_AlexCabrero...
Alex Cabrero

BYU premieres documentary ‘The Black 14: Healing Hearts and Feeding Souls’

There's a lot of history with BYU football. Saturday’s game against Wyoming in Provo will bring some of that history back. It's a story many people might not know, which is why BYU journalism students did a documentary on it, called The Black 14.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
Districts remind that help is available for families struggling to pay for school meals and fees