The ongoing shutdown of the federal government has caused financial hardship for too many of our friends and neighbors. Additionally, we know that students are experiencing anxiety and fear for their family's financial situation. I wanted to let you know of a few supports that are in place to help at this time.
Howard County families who have lost pay due to the shutdown may immediately apply for the Free and Reduced-Priced Meals (FARMs) program and the HCPSS Food and Nutrition Office will determine their eligibility status within 24-48 hours. Families that would not ordinarily qualify for the FARMs program could be eligible for the remainder of the school year because of the current loss of income.
Families that are adversely impacted, including those who do not receive FARMs assistance, will have the remainder of the school year to pay off any meal balances incurred during the government shutdown.
Additionally, many students may be suffering fear or anxiety about their family’s current financial situation. Student Services staff at each school are prepared and available to assist students at any time during the school day. Additionally, numerous resources for families are identified on the HCPSS website, and other supports are available through the Howard County Department of Community Resources and Services.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any concerns or should your child/family need additional supports or resources. We are able to provide field trip funding and other funding for impacted students. We are here to support you!