Free Fridays and new options

Free Fridays and new options in BCPS cafeterias
Posted on 09/16/2022
Morganton, NC – Friday, Sept. 16, 2022

Free Fridays and premium meals are coming to a Burke County Public Schools cafeteria near you. The Child Nutrition Department, in partnership with Chartwells K12, will offer free lunch to all students on the last Friday of each month and is adding more premium entree options and special treats to the serving lines.

The enhanced cafe experiences come courtesy of a Child Nutrition budget surplus; therefore, no extra costs will be passed on to the students. The first Free Friday will be Sept. 30. Some items on the lunch menu that day are:

- Cheese pizza and turkey and cheese sub at elementary schools
- Walking beef tacos at middle schools and North Liberty
- Chicken macho nachos at high schools and Hallyburton Academy

For the first premium entree day, middle and high school students can expect double cheeseburgers while elementary school students who get a school lunch receive a free cookie on Sept. 23. Premium meals also are planned for National School Lunch Week from Oct. 10 through Oct. 14. Additional premium entree options will be served throughout the school year.

Burke County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Mike Swan said, “With the increased cost of gas and groceries hitting the wallets of our families, our Board of Education really wanted to do something to help our families, who for the past two years have enjoyed free breakfast and lunch due to federal waivers during the pandemic. We looked at several options and the Free Fridays and premium meal choices checked the most boxes as well as fit in with our contract for food service through Chartwells. I for one am excited about the meal options. These are all on my favorites list.”

Burke County Public Schools Director of Child Nutrition Daniel Wall said, “Sixty-four percent of BCPS students are enrolled in Free and Reduced Lunch. We know there are more students who are eligible but haven’t applied, so Free Fridays are a great way for all students to get a healthy, delicious lunch at no cost. We know the students will be excited to see more premium entree options in their cafeteria.”

Breakfast continues to be free for all students. Lunches are $2.60 for elementary students and $2.85 for middle and high school students. To apply for free lunches or pay add payments to your child lunch account, visit To check lunch menus, visit
In compliance with federal law, Burke County Public Schools administers all educational programs, employment activities, and admissions without discrimination against any person based on gender, race, color, religion, national origin, age, or disability.