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 Healthy­in­fo.

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

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.

By Yraa

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