DEARBORN — On Wednesday, Sept. 12, the Dearborn Public Schools announced an expansion of its free lunch program.
Celia Nasser, a Dearborn Public Schools board member, told the AANews she was informed by Thomas Wall, executive director of business and operations at the district, that the state changed its percentage of “qualified, free and reduced” school lunches. Based on criteria from the Community Eligibility Program under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s school meals program, Dearborn fell into a range that qualified the entire district for free lunch.
Nasser said Dearborn students will get both free breakfast and lunch. The previous free lunch program only covered students in kindergarten through the eighth grade. Now the program covers students through 12th grade.
“A lot of kids get rushed out the door and don’t get to eat breakfast,” she said. “And now they can get that at school. I’m just extremely happy that now all of our kids get to have a well-balanced breakfast and lunch at school.”
According to Nasser, the program will reimburse families’ accounts who have already paid for their students’ lunches for the school year.
She added that the Dearborn Public Schools has also started a bidding process for companies in food management to bring on a nutritionist and chef to come up with healthy options for students, while still retaining its current employees.
She said the meals will have greater variety to give the students more options.