South Sioux City School district offering free lunches

South Sioux City School district offering free lunches

All Pre-K through 8th graders in the South Sioux City community school district will be getting free breakfast and lunch this upcoming school year.

The free meals for South Sioux City students will come from what's called a Community Eligibility Provision, or CEP program.

That program allows the district to offer all students in elementary and middle school free lunch and breakfast regardless of economic status.

"Our hope is we'll have a lot more kids eating. It's a great opportunity for them to get some more healthy nutritious meals in kids," said Director of dinning service, Mitch Phelps.

All of the school's food service programs are funded through the USDA and the federal government.

So how will the process of getting the meals to the kids work?

"Based upon your number of students, your participation, and your meals, we're allocated a certain amount of funds that are available to purchase what are known as donated foods from the government. So we get a portion of our food from that," said Phelps.

The school also buys from a broad-line food supplier but with every meal that the school serves they receive a reimbursement from the federal government.

While in school many of these kids weren't always getting proper meals and that's one thing Superintendent Todd Strom wants to see change.

Strom said, "Nutrition is very vital. Providing a free breakfast and lunch in a comfortable stetting such as the one we're in right now is very important to the education of that child."

One of the biggest benefits of this program will be alleviating a lot of the paper work that comes with free and reduced lunches.

"We think it will eliminate not only some of the paperwork that's involved administratively but also for the families. Release some of that burden so that we can concentrate on the business of educating students in a safe and comfortable learning atmosphere," said Strom.

While the high school students will not be eligible for this program, students and their families are still encouraged to sign up using the free and reduced lunch program.

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