Back to school: Meal changes coming, APS bus drivers needed

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — More schools will be back in full swing Wednesday, Aug. 10, including Albuquerque Public Schools.

Ahead of the start of the school year, there are still some moving parts and pieces to know about.


During the pandemic, all school meals were free but now 103 schools qualify for free breakfast and lunch (full list here), including Del Norte High School, Washington Middle School and Mark Twain Elementary. If your child doesn’t go to one of those schools, there is an application to get free or reduced lunches.

“This year we are gonna go back to the things that were pre-COVID and some of the families will have to fill out an application this year,” said Sandra Kemp, APS’ executive director for food and nutrition.

It’s a family application so if you have multiple students in different schools, you only have to fill out one application. The application will determine how much a child will pay for breakfast and lunch at school.

Some of the qualifications include:

  • The student’s family meets the income requirements
  • The student’s family receives SNAP benefits
  • Or the student is in foster care

A price chart shows how much meals cost for students paying regular prices vs. reduced prices. For example, an elementary student on the reduced meal plan will pay $1.10 per day if they get breakfast, lunch and milk. An elementary student on the regular plan will pay $3.65 per day for the same meals.

To apply, see the day’s menu or even pay online, visit the Albuquerque Public Schools website.


Albuquerque Public Schools transportation leaders tell KOB 4 they are down at least 40 drivers and the district is trying to make the job more enticing. The pay was raised to $20 an hour and some adjustments are being made.

“If we can get more drivers, we can put more stops but we’re trying to put more community stops to get as many students to school as possible on the bus,” said John Griego, the APS transportation manager. “Last year, unfortunately, we had routes that we didn’t have buses or drivers for and that was a huge impact.”

APS is asking for patience while they deal with hiring enough drivers to get the near-30,000 APS students who take the bus to and from school. If you want to apply to be a bus driver, visit the APS website.