Students Are Getting Free Lunch and Breakfast at Madison Elementary School

Only certain schools across the country qualify for the USDA National School Lunch and Breakfast programs, and now Madison elementary school is on the list

FARGO, N.D. — A healthy breakfast and a balanced lunch are important for elementary school students to learn.
But what about the parents that can’t afford to provide those meals?

Well KVRR’s Jessie Cohen tells us about a new program at one Fargo elementary school that will take a lift off every parents’ shoulders….IN OUR LEAD STORY.

As the summer comes to an end and the new school year begins not a select few, but all students at Madison Elementary School in Fargo will be taking part in a new free lunch program.

Different schools across the country qualify for the USDA National School Lunch and Breakfast programs, but only some schools based, mostly on income demographics, qualify for the CEP option which provides everyone with free meals. Now Madison elementary school is on the list.

The program targets low-income and higher need areas.

It’s improving access to nutritious meals that students need to learn and grow, including breakfast to start off the day.

“We’re getting more students fed right away in the morning. It’s going to make a big difference in how their morning goes and their learning goes for that first half of the day. Right now only about 50% of students are participating in the breakfast program and so with free meals for everybody we hope to see that near 100,” said Cindy Hogenson, the Nutrition Services Director for Fargo Public Schools.

Kids may not be the ones seeing the biggest difference.

“They may notice that the lines move faster in the cafeteria because we’r no longer needing to identify the meals that the students are eating,” Cindy said.

But parents and staff will be firsthand experiencing the new changes.

“You can really tell when some kids have more lunch and others don’t have anything. There is a lot more of an energy boost,” said Niklas Hansen, a camp counselor.

For many families who have a language barrier, they no longer need the paper work.

“The application process can be a barrier for some families especially if they are new Americans where they have difficulty reading or understanding the application,” Cindy said.

As for the kids, this will also give them a chance to get on the same playing field as their classmates.

“I feel like it’ll give them a huge self-motivation as well they’ll feel like they’re being treated the same,” Niklas said.

There are two other schools that could qualify for the program.

The district will consider the program for the other schools that qualify. This will be a district decision based on how the initial year goes.

Categories: Community, Health, Local News, North Dakota News