School free lunch criteria set

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Moffat County School District has outlined free and reduced price lunch criteria for the 2000-2001 school year.

As part of the National School Lunch Program, children from families whose income is at or below certain levels are eligible for free or reduced price meals.

Not only does this program help students and families, but also the school district. According to Moffat County School District Superintendent Duane Wrightson, during the 1999-2000 school year, the school district was reimbursed for every discounted or free meal given through the food service.

For example, during the 1999-2000 school year, lunch prices at the elementary and middle schools are $1.50 while the middle and high schools charge $1.75. For each student that receives a free meal, the school district receives $1.98 and for every reduced meal served, the district receives $1.58 plus the cost of 40 cents from each student.

With these figures, the school district is posed to make more money from the reduced and free meals.

This is in comparison to the 19 cent reimbursement for full priced meals. 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.

Application forms are being set to all homes in the school district. Additional copies will be available at the principal's office at each school.

District officials say the application must be correctly complete if a student is to be considered eligible for reduced price or free lunches.

Officials can check eligibility constraints at any time during the school year.

School officials may ask that children bring papers showing that they should get free or reduced price meals.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman said this lunch program is "one of the great government successes of the 20th Century."

"We serve nearly 35 million children a day, giving them the sustenance they need to lean and develop into productive members of society," Glickman said.

All information provided on the free/reduced price application is confidential and will be used only for the purpose of determining eligibility and verifying data. The decision of program benefits will be made by the principal of each school building.

The application can be completed at any time during the school year.

If families are not eligible now, but a change in household income, size or unemployment occurs during the year, an application can be submitted.

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