Two school districts return to paid meals

Published 11:02 am Friday, July 29, 2022

Now that the United States Department of Agriculture nationwide waiver has expired, two school districts in Pearl River County are going back to their regular meal plans.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the USDA made it possible for school nutrition programs to serve every student free breakfast and lunch. However, the USDA did not extend that waiver for the upcoming school year, so Pearl River Central and Poplarville school districts will return to charging students for breakfast and lunch who do not qualify for free or reduced meals.

Picayune School District students will continue to receive free breakfast and lunch as part of the Community Eligibility Provision for the 2022-2023 school year. According to Picayune School District Food Service Director Michael Binney, the CEP allows schools that predominantly serve low-income children to offer a nutritious breakfast and lunch at no cost to all students through the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. Picayune has been approved under CEP since 2019-20 and will remain approved for a four-year cycle.

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Pearl River Central School District will charge student $1.50 for breakfast and $2.75 for lunch. Students must qualify for free or reduced meals based on household income eligibility. If a family feels they may qualify, parents can apply before the beginning of the school year at,

Poplarville School District will charge its students $1.50 for breakfast and $2.75 for lunch as well. If students qualify for reduced meals, they will only be charged $0.40 cents for breakfast and $0.50 cents for lunch. Online applications are now being accepted at

Students who don’t qualify for free or reduced meals have two payment options. Parents can send their child to school with money or a check everyday or add cash to the student’s meal account.

Both Pearl River Central and Poplarville offer meal accounts through MySchoolBucks. Parents can add money to their child’s meal account by using the MySchoolBucks by visiting their respected schools district website or visiting