Thanks to a statewide program resulting from a budget surplus, all 6.2 million K-12 students in California have access to free school lunches this year, including around 70,000 Long Beach Unified School District students who are set to go back on campus Tuesday.
The district’s Nutrition Services department has a few easy steps LBUSD parents should take ahead of school opening to ensure a smooth start to the school year for their students.
Parents should check their LBUSD ParentVUE account for a School Meal Information Packet that includes a PIN number unique to each of their students. The PIN will be used by the student at the point of service for all school meals.
Parents who haven’t set up a ParentVUE account should have received a school meal information packet at their home address last week, which will include the PIN for their students. Families who have moved are encouraged to contact their school office immediately to make sure they can get a PIN prior to the start of the school year.
The district has also requested that families (whether planning to utilize the free meals or not) fill out a reduced-price meal application at this link, as the data collected is used to help determine funding.
Families who had carry-over money in their cafeteria account can request a refund or a transfer of those funds by clicking here.
The LBUSD distributed free meals from many of its cafeterias during the shutdown of school campuses that began in March of 2020, with millions of take-home meals going to LBUSD students.
District Superintendent Jill Baker said the decision to provide free meals to all students was “the only easy decision of the pandemic,” and noted at a recent school board meeting that she’s happy the state provided funding to keep it going this school year.
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