Schools cut lunch options for kids who struggle to pay
New federal nutrition regulations are in the works that could put an even bigger strain on the finances of already-struggling school meal programs. To encourage eligible children to sign up for federally subsidized free or reduced-price meals, some meal programs are serving them shrunken “alternate” lunches, often just two slices of bread, a slice of cheese and a 4-ounce juice cup.
If a school can get more eligible children enrolled, its direct costs go down because the federal government picks up more of the bill. Slenderized lunches, administrators say, are simply part of an aggressive campaign to make families aware of the benefit and get them signed up.
“If they need assistance, we give them assistance,” said Wayne Nagy, the Lee County district’s food and nutrition services director. But “if they don’t need assistance, we expect them to pay.”
Is that a creative way to address a shortage of school funding, or is it just punishing lower-income children? Hit the comments and let me know.
Full story (Alex Johnson/msnbc.com)