In July 25 IssueRussell County News
The Free and Reduced Lunch program is more and more important as the economy continues through the problems it is, and Susan Melton said the criteria for entering the program has moved higher.
Everyone should apply, said Melton, the district’s food service director. She explained that all of the district’s schools have forms or they can be found at the district’s website.
“Even if they don’t think they qualify they should apply,” Melton said. “It is easy to do and you don’t have to bring anything in, you can just estimate your income.”
She added that since the system is computerized in all the schools no one knows who is getting free or reduced meals.
“There is no stigma everything is very confidential,” Melton said. “The student just punches in their ID number.”
She said the computer charges the meal to the money parents pay in to a student’s account or to the federally funded program.
The weekly cost of breakfasts and lunches for one student is $16.25. The free meal program is just that, while the reduced program cuts parents’ cost to $3.50 a week.
Since everyone pays Federal income tax, everyone pays for the system, and anyone who can qualify is basically getting some more of their tax money back.
Those who pay directly for their offsprings’ meals will have a new way to keep track of things soon, Melton explained.
Jamestown Elementary will be the first to try out the program, but she said they will expand the E-pay program throughout the system.
With it parents can track the money deposited in their food service account online and add to it by check, credit-debit card or other means.