EL MONTE – Beginning this school year, El Monte Union is transitioning to a new meal program that will provide all students, regardless of income, with free breakfast and lunch.

The change comes in response to Senate Bill 138, signed into law in January 2018 requiring school districts in high-poverty areas to provide free meal service to all students. Two El Monte Union feeder school districts – Mountain View and El Monte City – also participate in the program.

“This is a great opportunity for our families in the El Monte community – it provides all students two free meals a day, reduces financial strain for families and supports optimal nutrition for learning and achievement in our schools,” Superintendent Dr. Edward Zuniga said. “It also reduces the stigma associated with free meals since all of our students can take advantage and get a jumpstart to their day.”

To successfully implement the program, called Provision 2, over the long term, the District will continue to collect applications for free and reduced-price meals and track meals served by fee category (free, reduced-price and paid) for the first year. Schools will still be able to provide free meals to all students.

After the first year, the District – which participates in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs – will not have to collect, process or verify school meal applications for at least three years.

The District will fund meals for students who are not qualified to receive free- or reduced-price meals through the general fund.

Applications for free and reduced-price meals are available at each school, the District office and on the District Nutrition Services website at https://bit.ly/2NyayY3.

For more information, call (626) 444-9005, ext. 9870, or email Suzy.Sayre@emuhsd.org.