Students in Logan City School District who qualify for reduced-price school lunches will no longer have to pay for lunch at all, after a school board vote to eliminate reduced-price lunch charges.
The board voted Tuesday to eliminate reduced lunch charges for all students, from preschoolers to high school seniors.
The change will go into effect next year, according to district Business Administrator Jeff Barben. Because reduced and free lunches are federally reimbursed, the district will be able to cover the lost funds within their existing budget, Barben said.
With each student paying 40 cents each school day, eliminating the charge will save qualifying families about $8 per student per month. However, district Child Nutrition Manager Paul Guymon said the real motivation for the change was reducing the stigma students may face if their families can’t or don’t pay for their lunches.
“If they’re on reduced lunch, they can get sent to collections if they owe an excess amount of money,” Guymon said. “They can be told they owe money, even though they’re technically below the poverty line.”
Eleven percent of Logan School District students qualified for reduced lunch in October of 2017, Guymon said — about 615 students throughout the district.
The National School Lunch Program is federally funded and overseen. Guymon said there is no minimum charge for reduced-price lunches.
“You can charge anything from 40 cents to zero,” Guymon said.
Guymon said the idea for the change came from seeing the example set by other schools who had seen positive effects after eliminating the charge.
“We’re just looking to reduce that stigma and making it a more positive atmosphere for our students,” Guymon said.