With the new school year in session, The Lauderdale County School District is ensuring that students get necessary nutrition to properly function in their academics.
“Our goal is to provide students with a well-balanced nutritious meal during the school day. We want to ensure that they have breakfast, breakfast is very important. So, we want to ensure that they start off breakfast with a healthy meal,” said Katina Dixon, director of child nutrition.
About 4,500 students purchased their lunch in the cafeteria and by parents filling out a meal application, it will allow the school district to qualify for additional funding to help provide meals for qualifying students.
“Our district receives funds based on the students that qualify for free and reduced lunch our federal program receives money that can pay for things such as school supplies, computers, interactive smart-boards, and on the technology side there’s a program by the FCC called E-rate,” said Trent Airhart, director of technology.
If parents fail to fill out an application it hurts the school district financially.
“As a result of them not bringing in the money they charge the meals, at the end of the year, we try to get that money back if the parents do not pay, we can end that school year with $20-25,000 of debt,” Dixon said.
The school district does get a portion of the money back from the students that participated in the reduced school price meal program.
“We will receive a supplement payment for those meals if they were free. If they’re in pay status, we don’t receive any federal reimbursement but free and reduced we do,” said Dixon.