Increase in students eligible for free or reduced priced school meals

By: Alyssa Fenske Email
By: Alyssa Fenske Email

LA CROSSE (WEAU) - For the 8th consecutive year student eligibility for free or reduced price school meals has increased in Wisconsin.

There are more than 7 thousand students who qualify for the program this year compared to last year.

More than 100 school districts have 50% or more eligible.

In La Crosse County the number of students who qualify for the program has been steadily increasing.

In Onalaska,
“We were at 25% two years ago, 28 % last year, and we’re at 29 % this year," said School Nutrition Director, Kerry Johnson.

In La Crosse,
"Our information shows 46%. That's up a percent from last year," said Executive Director of Business Services, Janet Rosseter.

It’s believed the economy is to blame for the rising numbers.

“I think it depends on the work situation for the family. Maybe somebody got laid off, or their hours reduced,” said Rosseter.

Schools have also seen an increase in students taking hot lunch verses other options.

“Parents are encouraging their students to eat the full reimbursable meal which is a more nutritious meal,” said Johnson.

Schools receive a fixed amount for each free or reduced meal they give out.

“School districts will receive 2.77 for each free meal that’s served, and 2.37 or each reduced meal.”

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  • by taxpayer on Mar 20, 2012 at 08:01 PM
    This comment has been deleted.
    • reply
      by fred on Mar 26, 2012 at 06:09 PM in reply to taxpayer
      Do you ever read the comment be for replying.What does you comment have to do with this.Same sense less comment,but your good at doing that.
  • by anonymous Location: Eau Claire on Mar 20, 2012 at 05:44 PM
    Good story, perhaps an address where people could donate to this cause might not be a bad idea.
    • reply
      by J on Mar 25, 2012 at 08:15 PM in reply to anonymous
      huh ?
    • reply
      by Bill on Mar 28, 2012 at 07:10 AM in reply to anonymous
      For some of these kids --this is their only good meal for the day. That the less we can do for them. Stop at Star Bucks and pay $5.00 for coffee --I see this as very small to help a child
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