HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — Horry County Schools has changed its school-lunch policy, reverting to what it was before the pandemic.

That means parents now have to apply to see if their children are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches.

“The application is very simple,” said Kimberly Johnson, the director of nutrition services with Horry County Schools. “It’s online, HCS website, the homepage, there’s a little circular icon that has like a little fork and spoon and you click on that.”

The USDA did not renew a waiver that allowed free lunches for children during the past two school years. Johnson said she was disappointed by that decision.

“The whole school nutrition association community, we’re all disappointed,” she said. “Having those the past two years was a great value for our families.”

The change will make things harder for many families, including those who have unexpected expenses. Michelle See’s family is one of those. She had to have surgery on her rotator cuff, which would put her out of work for about three months.   

“Right now, it’s kind of important because I’ll be out of work for three months, so I don’t know how I’m going to do everything like as far as making sure he has lunch at school, let alone my other bills,” she said. “So, it’s a little frustrating because I haven’t had an answer, and I applied back in July. It’d be nice to have that really clarified.”

Sees wants to know quickly if her son will be able to eat a full lunch at school or not. 

“Are they gonna, I mean I’m sure they’re going to feed them, but are they going to feed him or be like … whatever,” Sees said.

Below is a list of schools that are a part of the Community Eligibility Provisions program:

  • Daisy Elementary
  • Loris Elementary
  • Loris Middle
  • Homewood Elementary
  • Pee Dee Elementary
  • South Conway Elementary
  • Whittemore Park Middle
  • SOAR Academy
  • Palmetto Bays Elementary
  • Green Sea Floyds Elementary

You can find the application for the free and reduced meal application on the Horry County Schools website.