All Lyndonville students will be offered free breakfasts, lunches this school year

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 August 2023 at 8:51 am

LYNDONVILLE – The school district will be making free breakfasts and lunches available to all students this school year.

The district was accepted by the state Department of Education to be included in the Community Eligibility Provision of the National School Breakfast/Lunch Program. Lyndonville started offering the free breakfasts and lunches this summer and has served about 2,000 meals.

“That we can feed every child two meals a day that really helps our families,” said Sharon Smith, the district superintendent.

There are about 600 students in the Lyndonville district, including those in prekindergarten.

Lyndonville school officials and the Board of Education decided to apply for the program last school year, and expected Lyndonville would have to pay about $14,000.

But the state will cover the district’s share, so there won’t be any local cost for providing the meals.

To qualify for the program, a district or school building must have an Identified Student Percent (ISP) of at least 40 percent. Lyndonville is at 42 percent, Smith said. She added that 58 percent of the student body is in poverty.

The ISP isn’t determined by student eligible for free and reduced lunch. Instead it depends on SNAP and Medicaid recipients identified through the electronic direct certification matching process (DCMP) and extension of these eligibility benefits to siblings or other household members not matched. It also includes homeless children identified by the homeless liaison, Head Start students, migrant, runaway and foster children certified directly by the state or local foster agency.

Lyndonville families don’t need to register to have access to the meals, Smith said.

The Board of Education on Thursday extended its food service contract with Personal Touch Food Service, Inc. in Buffalo, increasing the amount by 3.5 percent.

The cost for breakfast will increase from $3.0640 to $3.1712 per meal, and lunch will go up from $3.5810 to $3.7063.