Friday, April 16, 2010

Families thankful for school lunches. . .

The U. S. Department of Agriculture's free and reduced lunch program is growing. The Huffington Post picked up the following report from the Associated Press.

We know this program well here in Dallas, Texas.

What many people are surprised to learn is that over 85% of Dallas Independent School District students are eligible for free meals at school every day. Read the report and let me know what you think.

Struggling families depend more on school lunches
March 27, 2010 09:32 PM EST

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For a couple tight weeks after taking in her sixth-grade stepson, Lisa Lewis fretted about how to pay for his school lunches.

Unable to find a full-time job, the 37-year-old works part-time at a Kansas City, Kan., daycare, earning minimum wage. On that money alone, she supports herself, her unemployed husband, her stepson and her 11th-grade son.

"I sometimes cry myself to sleep wondering how I am going to keep my family fed and things like that," Lewis said. "I'm making it but barely."

Her worries were eased when she found out she could get government assistance to pay for the younger boy's meals. Her older son already is part of the subsidized lunch program.

In the midst of a blistering recession, more families are flocking to the federal program that gives students free or reduced-priced lunches. Schools are watching for who enrolls in the program because it gives teachers insight into life at home and officials consider it a barometer of poverty.

The numbers are telling.

During the 2008-2009 school year, about 19 million students received free and reduced lunches, which is 895,000 more than the previous year – a jump of nearly 5 percent and that greatly outpaced the overall increase in school enrollment, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service. Typically, the increases are about 1 to 2 percent each year.

To read the entire report click here.

No comments: