The National School Lunch Program is controversial.
On one hand, this federally assisted meal program provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to qualified students through subsidies to schools.
On the other hand, someone has to pay for this expensive redistribution program, which is funded by those of you who pay federal income taxes.
In fiscal year 2013, federal school nutrition programs underwrote more than five billion lunches served to nearly 31 million students. Total funding for all nutrition programs sums to $16.3 billion in both cash and commodity payments in fiscal year 2014.
How many Saline County residents are using federal taxpayer dollars for free and reduced lunches in our schools?
The Dorchester Times has accessed public reports to examine the free and reduced lunch utilization at Saline County high schools last school year. Here is the data:
SCHOOL ENROLLED FREE LUNCH REDUCED LUNCH % OF STUDENTS
CRETE 1852 826 173 53.94%
DORCHESTER 182 55 15 38.46%
FRIEND 277 43 42 30.69%
WILBER 580 116 37 26.38%
If you don't live in Saline County and want to see what percentage of students in your district are receiving free or reduced lunches, click here.