Carthage school district offers free lunch for all students

Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 6:00 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TOWN OF CHAMPION, New York (WWNY) - Some say a full belly means a full mind, and students at Carthage Central School District are filling up for free.

Starting Monday, every student in the district can eat lunch. What was a $2.50 cent meal is now free for everyone.

Superintendent Jennifer Premo says it’s a district-wide extension of the federal government’s free meals program provided during the pandemic.

“This year when the school year started, we recognized right away one of the biggest challenges we were facing is that it was a hardship for some families to return to paying for school lunches,” she said.

Part of the free lunch package is the main course, choice of fruit, veggies and milk. Premo says a full belly means a full mind in the classroom.

“It definitely improves concentration, it definitely improves their learning throughout the course of the day, but it’s also reassuring for everyone to know, when the kids come here, if they’re hungry they’re going to be able to eat,” she said.

The free meals are for this year only and are paid for by federal stimulus money. But Premo says she’s advocating to get more funds for similar programs.

“We can’t guarantee it past this year just because it’s something that’s been approved for our stimulus funds, but not something we can necessarily guarantee we’ll be able to budget for in the future,” she said.

Students eligible for free and reduced lunch through the federal government still get it, but this district-wide program allows for those who don’t qualify to also feast for free.