Columbus City Schools Expand Free Lunch, Free Breakfast Program

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Columbus school and city leaders announce expansion of free breakfast and lunch program for the new school year at Woodcrest Elementary School on East Livingston Avenue
Columbus school and city leaders announce expansion of free breakfast and lunch program for the new school year at Woodcrest Elementary School on East Livingston Avenue

Columbus City Schools Friday announced expansion of its food service for students.

Superintendent Dan Good says student eligibility for free meals is expanding for the new school year.

“All children, yes all students, enrolled in Columbus City Schools will receive both free breakfast and free lunch every day,” says Good.

Good adds there are no income requirements nor meal applications necessary. Last year, the district served 10-million meals at 113 locations. It lost $300,000 on the operation. This year, even though the district will provide more free lunches it will get a re-imbursement of $3 per meal served from the federal government. And, Director of Food Services, Joe Brown, says that’s more than the district receives from students who pay for breakfast or lunch.

“When we as a district, have a student pay for lunch we could be collecting anywhere between $2.25 to $2.75. So that increases our re-imbursement for every meal we serve to students,” says Brown.

Brown says there will also be administrative savings as school officials will no longer be required to determine which students are eligible for a free meal. Good says he expects the expanded free meal program will also benefit student academic achievement.

“Let’s face it, if you’re stomach is growling and you’re feeling sluggish and tired how well are you going to be able to focus on learning how to divide fractions or learning how letters work together to provide different sounds,” says Good.

Last school year 80 percent of Columbus students qualified for free or reduced price breakfasts and lunch. Most Columbus schools begin classes on August 20.

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