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High school may offer free food
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The adage “there is no such thing as a free lunch” may be proven untrue as school officials are eyeing free meals at the high school next year.
“We’re looking at including the high school next year,” announced Warren County Director of Schools Bobby Cox at the most recent meeting of the Board of Education. “It has been a great success at our elementary schools.”
Cox was referring to the Community Eligibility Program that provides free breakfast and lunch to all Warren County students, regardless of income, in grades pre-K to 8.
Prior to enacting the federally subsidized program this school year in all schools except the high school, students could apply for free or reduced lunches provided their family income fell below a certain level. School officials estimate over 60 percent of Warren County students fall below that level.
Prior to the beginning of this school year, the Board of Education voted to enter the Community Eligibility Program but could not fund the high school the first year. The federal government reimburses the school system for the free breakfasts and lunches.
Cox said there have been 11,016 free lunches and 11,026 free breakfasts served in Warren County schools thus far. The federal reimbursement is expected to be $54,000 for that amount.
With the success, Cox said the high school will likely be included in the free meal program next school year.
One thing that concerns Cox, however, is the need for parents to fill out and return a two-question survey. The survey asks their name and income. The student gets a free lunch and breakfast regardless of the income. The survey is being used for statistical reasons and the names are not used for any other reason.
Cox hopes parents will be sure to complete and return those surveys to ensure the school system continues getting federal money to run the program.