RFHS hopes to restart federally funded lunches | PostIndependent.com

RFHS hopes to restart federally funded lunches

Suzie Romig
Special to the Post Independent

Approximately 25 percent of the students in the Roaring Fork School District qualify for free or reduced lunches through federally funded programs.

However, at some of the district schools, students are not able to take advantage of that offering. At Roaring Fork High School, for example, a lack of food service workers is hampering federal funding available through the National School Lunch Program, said Mila Jensen, school food service director.

In order to bring back the federally funded lunches, the school district is putting out a timely call for applicants for two vacant, part-time food service positions at the high school.

“We haven’t had a (traditional) school lunch at Roaring Fork High School since 1998,” Principal Wendy Moore said. “While we’ve been able to offer hot food for them, it’s too expensive for many of the kids because it’s a fund-raiser for students groups.”

Although the nontraditional lunch program has been a “terrific” money maker for school groups that volunteer a week at a time, those types of programs cannot use federal funds for free or reduced cost lunches, Moore explained.

“I can continue this way, but it still does not feed the kids that really need to have the food,” Moore said. “I think that these kids are entitled to this opportunity.”

Moore said a reality in all schools across the country is that not all students can afford to purchase lunch. Instead, some may go hungry.

“I think sometimes kids have to choose, and sometimes their choice is not to eat. For some of these kids they don’t have breakfast either, because it’s not available,” the principal said.

Once qualified food service workers can be hired, the lunches would be prepared in the kitchen at Carbondale Elementary School and transported to RFHS to be served.

The school lunch would cost $2.25 full price, compared to the $3 or $4 for lunches currently offered as fund-raisers.

Students qualifying for the reduced lunch program would pay 40 cents. Students on the open high school campus also are allowed to bring in sack lunches or travel off campus to find lunch.

Students at Glenwood Springs High School also have an open campus and fund-raiser lunch options, while Basalt High School has a traditional school lunch offering, said Jensen.

Anyone interested in applying for the food service positions can contact Jensen at 384-6007 or mila@rfsd.k12.co.us. Cooking experience is helpful. The jobs pay $9.25 per hour for four hours of work each day.

“I think that everyone would be very happy to have a lunch program that we didn’t have to worry about maintaining,” Moore said. “It really is hard on the kids who qualify for the free and reduced cost lunch program, and currently they have no options.”

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