Parents asked to apply for free, reduced lunch program

School offers discount to low-income families

— Again this year, the Moffat County School District will continue a policy to help children from families whose income is at or below certain levels receive free or reduced price meals under the National School Lunch Program. Depending on family size and income, students may be eligible for this service.

Not only does this program help students and families but it also helps the school district.

According to Superintendent Duane Wrightson, for every discounted or free meal given through the food service program, the school district is reimbursed.

Lunch prices at the elementary schools and Craig Intermediate School are $1.50 while Craig Middle School and Moffat County High School charge $1.75. For each student who receives a free meal, the school district receives $1.98 and for every reduced price meal served, the district receives $1.58 plus the cost of 40 cents from each student. With the reimbursement, the school district is poised to make more money from the reduced and free meals than from the regular sale of a school lunch. The school district is reimbursed 19 cents per meal for full-price meal sales. According to Moffat County Food Services Director Judy Baker, the program is a "win-win situation" for both students and schools.

"The program provides kids with a low-cost or free meal and the school district receives more funding," Baker said.

Last week, applications were mailed to students' households. These applications are returned to the food service offices to go through an approval process. Applications are also available at the principal's office in each school. All information provided on the application is confidential and will only be used to determine eligibility. Applications from families receiving food stamps need only to list student names, respective food stamp case number and a signature of an adult household member.

Approved students are then put on a list given to the lunchroom cashier. As the student passes through the lunch line, all they have to do is give their name.

"The school district is encouraging families to fill out the application," Baker said.

In 1997, 545 students took advantage of the program. Of this total, 404 received free meals and 141 received reduced price lunches. This is out of a total of 2,726 students equaling almost 20 percent of the student body.

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