School lunch programs have lost $483 million during the pandemic
School meal programs have taken a massive financial hit during the Covid-19 crisis, losing more than $483 million. In a new survey from the School Nutrition Association—which included responses from school nutrition directors in 1,614 school districts across the country—each reported a drop in participation in the school lunch program, Food and Environment Reporting Network reports. Advocates worry this will have long-term consequences on the ability to feed low-income children. Schools are reimbursed based only on the number of meals served, so when that number goes down, schools get less. The reimbursement formula does not take into account costs to the school that remain fixed, like production and equipment costs and cooks’ salaries, leaving many districts in a bind.