Number of families unable to pay for school lunch rises

West Virginia

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. (WDVM) — Families being unable to pay for school lunches rises. Schools in the area talk about what they offer and what they’re doing to combat this issue.

According to the School Nutrition Association, school districts reported debt ranging from the single digits to more than $850,000 dollars. The average price of a middle school lunch is $2.68. The cost can add up for families, especially those with several children.

“We provide all of our students with a nutritional breakfast and lunch, regardless of any debt they may have,” Joyce White said, the interim deputy superintendent of operations for Jefferson county schools. Students from families whose incomes are at or below 130% of the poverty level qualify for free school meals. Children whose family incomes are between 130% and 185% of the poverty level are eligible for reduced price meals.

“Certainly when circumstances change and you have a loss of income you should reach out and see if you qualify for free and reduced meals, that doesn’t mean we wipe out previous debt but if you qualify moving forward then the free and reduced would kick in,” White said. These type of applications are available in most school districts. Anyone in Jefferson county schools that is interested in the application can go to their website for more information.

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