The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

National News

September 7, 2013

Income not a factor as students eat free

(Continued)

Michael Peck, director of Food and Nutrition Services for Boston Public Schools, said 76 percent of students already had qualified for free or reduced price meals.

He said the program will save the district money, partly because officials won’t have to hire couriers to drop off and pick up applications for reduced or free meals at the city’s more than 120 schools. They also may be able to cancel the armored car pickups of cafeteria money.

An Atlanta Public Schools spokeswoman said students at 58 of the city’s 100 public schools started getting free breakfast and lunch this year under the program. A spokeswoman for District of Columbia Public Schools said 76 out of 111 district schools are part of the program, which started there in the last school year.

In western Michigan, an administrator with Grand Rapids Public Schools said the district has been serving free breakfast and lunch for its 17,000 students since the 2012-2013 school year started.

Paul Baumgartner, the district’s nutrition service director, said that breakfast counts skyrocketed after the program began and that it saves families the hassle of filling out applications for free or reduced price meals.

“The rationale is we’ve got these communities that have demonstrated severe need,” he said. “Why don’t we see if we can reduce some of these barriers?”

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