Free meals offered to all RPS 205 students starting in the fall
ROCKFORD (WREX) -
Free meals will be offered to students at all Rockford Public Schools starting next school year.
The School Board approved a free federal meal program at its meeting Tuesday night.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture program will allow all students to receive breakfast and lunch at no cost.
RPS 205 officials said it will not cost the district any money out of its operating budget because the state and federal reimbursements would cover the costs for the program.
"For RPS 205, the timing is right as the district's number of students who qualify for free and reduced lunch grows," said Chief Operations Officer Todd Schmidt. "Today, 83 percent of the nearly 29,000 students in RPS 205 qualify for free or reduced meal prices. For the federal program to be viable, a district must have more than 60 percent of its students qualify for free or reduced lunch rates."
RPS 205 administrators anticipate more students will take part in cafeteria services now.
The program does not affect the price for staff meals, a la carte items or snack bar items.
District officials plan to submit an application to the state to verify its eligibility in the program. Once approved, the district plans to implement the changes for the 2015-2016 school year. It is a four year program for school district to participate in.