Every September, back to school for the Food Service Department is much more than just cooking and baking. We are working hard processing family applications for educational benefits.

Applications need to be done annually - one for every family - and can be resubmitted at any time if household income should change. Applications can be picked up in the district office or high school office.

Meal application benefits carry over from the prior school year for the first 30 school days. In October, the process of what is called roll over begins. This means that if your household was on a free or reduced application from the prior school year and has not turned in a qualifying application, your benefits from last year will discontinue and your account will move to paid or full price status.

To avoid your student going to a full price status for their lunch account, submit an application as soon as possible.

Breakfast is still free for all students; however, extra entrees and extra milks (including milks with cold lunch) will remain as an additional charge.

It seems there is always some concern about students not getting a lunch if they have no money in their account. We will feed your student. They will receive a grab-n-go sandwich meal option. We never want a student to go without lunch!

The district does prefer all students have access to all meal options, which is why we ask that all families keep their applications and lunch accounts current.

These applications help our families and students afford the lunches they need. The school also receives benefits in various ways. State and federal meal reimbursements are calculated based on the number of meals served to paid, reduced or free status students. The district also has access to funds called compensatory aid based on those lunch applications.

Our goal is not just to prepare the best meal we can, but to get that meal to every student at Pine River-Backus. Help us get the meals out! I am always happy to help in any way I can. If you have questions, feel free to call or email me at 218-587-2865 or jblanchard@prbschools.org.