WARREN TOWNSHIP, Ind. (WISH) — Students from an Indiana school district are now getting school lunch for free.
There are about 12,000 students at Metropolitan School District of Warren Township. Last year, 82% of those students qualified for free or reduced lunches.
“We have a high number of families in need that need the support. We’re happy to help them with that,” said Dr. Timothy Hanson, superintendent of MSD Warren Township.
Hanson said it’s a program they hope to continue.
Students will no longer have to pull out any cash at the register during lunch time, as parents don’t have to apply for free or reduced lunch for their child.
“It is so nice everyday to not have to worry about getting lunch money here to school,” said parent and Liberty Park Elementary teacher, Jen Hess. “It is so nice that he has the option to eat if he wants. he has the option to choose whatever is up there.”
The school district applied for the Community Eligibility Provision Program through the Indiana Department of Education. The program will last for four years.
Students will still eat lean proteins, healthy whole grains and unlimited fresh fruits and vegetables. Many students are no longer bringing their own lunch to school.
“Today is our 14th day of school and 14 days in compared to 14 days in last year we are seeing an increase across the board of students participating in lunch,” added Hanson.
“We’ve had universal breakfast for quite a while which is also nice if you’re running late in the morning you can come in the breakfast is already here which is great,” explained Hess.
Hanson said parents are now saving $450 per child per year. However, students have to pay for a la carte items, add-ons, snacks and beverages.
“The other parents and I are thrilled. I mean, I haven’t heard one person that’s unhappy with it (the program) so it’s been a wonderful wonderful thing for Warren,” said Hess.