An aerial view of historic B-Building

Letter to Parents: Free Breakfast and Lunch during SY 21-22

July 15, 2021

Dear Hilo High School Parents and Guardians:

The Department is pleased to announce that all students at Hawaiʻi’s 257 public schools statewide will receive free breakfast and lunch meals for the entirety of the 2021-22 school year, thanks to a nationwide waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The waiver aims to limit the possible spread of COVID-19 at schools across the country by eliminating meal payment transactions in school cafeterias, settings where students and cashiers may not be able to maintain proper social distancing. This will allow for a more efficient, contactless experience. Federal funds will reimburse state education departments for meal costs.

If you have not yet purchased meal credits for this upcoming school year via the EZ Meal App or through your school, no further action is required. If you have already purchased meal credits in advance, you may choose to leave funds in the account for the following school year or request a refund through the school.

Students will only receive meals at their school of enrollment. One meal per breakfast session and one per lunch session will be free of charge. Additional meals or meal items taken at the same session will be charged a normal rate.

Parents are highly encouraged to continue to submit their Free and Reduced Price Lunch Meal Benefits applications online using the EZMealApp mobile app or at, where applicable. Information derived from the applications directly impacts other school programs, such as bus transportation and Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) food assistance.

For more information, please review the Frequently Asked Questions page at or contact the School Food Services Branch at (808) 784-5500. More information on the USDA waiver is available at



Jasmine Urasaki


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