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“Nutrition is fuel for the body and the brain. Without proper nutrition, a student cannot learn and excel in the classroom.” (Kara Sample, Assistant Director | District 6 Nutrition Services)
Have you ever been sitting at your desk working on a big project when all of sudden you feel so hungry that you can’t stop thinking about food? Your stomach is grumbling in agony as the minutes slowly tick until your lunch break. Your mouth starts watering thinking about the delicious sandwich or leftovers you packed.
Now, think about being a student. You’re hungry. School lunch is quite possibly the only meal you get everyday. You can’t think, you can’t focus, all you are doing is counting down the seconds to lunch. You finally get to the cafeteria and you’re greeted with…Meal Debt.
Meal debt is huge issue across our nation right now. It’s becoming quite controversial as districts choose options such as serving students different meals which leads to bullying, forbidding them to go to prom, and threatening to turn children into Child Protective Services.
Greeley-Evans School District 6 serves every student the same meal everyday no matter the debt. 63% of our students are on free-and-reduced lunch, and it is common for school lunch to be their only meal of the day. On top of serving lunch to these students, our Nutrition Services Department offers them a variety of other ways to find nourishment throughout the day. These programs include:
- School Breakfast Program
- National School Lunch Program
- After-School Snack Program
- Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program
- Special Milk Program
- Supper Program
Additionally, they offer wellness programming, including:
- Nutrition Education
- “Culinary Classroom” Education
- Non-Food Rewards
- Healthy Classroom Party Kits
- School Garden Support
District 6 Nutrition Services’ commitment to Greeley-Evans students does not go unnoticed. However, because they never deny a student a meal – no matter what – our district has accumulated approximately $145,000 in meal debt. If that debt is not paid off, it is absorbed elsewhere (Nutrition funds and/or General funds). As a result, the money needed to cover meal debt is no longer available for other priorities. To illustrate, funds may not be available to purchase higher quality food items or the most effective curriculum needed in the classroom.