Free food for a child at school is one of the measures of social support for families guaranteed by the state. Who is entitled to free meals, how many meals should the school provide, and what should be included in meals? Tells MedAboutMe.
We look at the law: important amendments
In March 2020, Law No. 273-FZ “On Education in the Russian Federation” was amended to guarantee free meals to every elementary school student. Until that moment, it was mostly paid: parents donated funds for food to the teacher in advance, and the teacher led an organized group of children to the canteen and paid for breakfast and lunch on the spot, or the child did it with the help of a student card.
This law also introduced new requirements for the quality and safety of baby food. Previously, the educational organization could determine the order in which food was provided, but now food must meet strict requirements.
On school days, primary school students must receive at least one hot meal and one hot drink free of charge. The cost of the food provided will be covered by the state budget.
What will be on the plate
All elementary school students should receive free meals once a day. But what exactly they see on the plate depends on the daily routine and the capabilities of a particular educational organization.
The law allows you to give your child breakfast with hot porridge or lunch with hot soup. Usually students in grades 1–2 receive breakfasts, and older children receive lunches. It all depends on how many classes there are in a particular school and places to eat in the cafeteria.
Who else can eat for free
In addition to primary school students, the right to free school meals is provided to vulnerable groups. First of all, these are children with disabilities (HIA). They can count on two meals a day — that is, breakfast and lunch. If a child with disabilities is studying at home, the educational organization must provide him with dry rations.
Another group of students who can count on state support in matters of nutrition are children from low-income families. They are also entitled to two hot meals per day — breakfast and lunch.
Do I need free meals?
All primary school students have the unconditional right to eat free of charge. Their parents do not have to provide the school with any certificates and applications. The fact of enrollment in the class is enough, and the school itself organizes breakfasts and lunches.
But for the registration of meals, children with disabilities and students from low-income families will have to collect documents. It is necessary to prepare a copy of the child’s birth certificate and SNILS (if any), as well as write an application in the form and send it to the social security authorities. The application must be accompanied by a certificate confirming the status of the child with disabilities or a certificate of family income if it is considered to be poor.
After receiving all the necessary documents, social services will issue a certificate of preferential meals to parents. On its basis, the school will feed the child for free.