School districts prepare the plan for school lunches in the fall, but this time it may cost you money

When you’re hungry, you can’t focus on anything other than that hunger. And with school starting virtually next month, families need to start thinking about how their kids will be fed. Almost 47 percent of students in the La Crosse School District were on the free or reduced lunch program during the last school year. Many of those students were still supplied free lunch during the spring and summer months.

“March through July, 225,000 meals served,” said Kadie Haug, nutrition specialist for La Crosse School District.

Families had the option of delivery or pickup for the school lunches.

EMILY: “West Salem’s a unique campus, where all the schools are right near each other so it was convenient for most of our students to come to one building, so we set the middle school as the place where everyone came,” said Emily Klunk, Director of school nutrition at West Salem School District.

However, a major change is happening for those students logging into virtual school in September.

“The meals aren’t universally free anymore. So the students do have to pay based on what their free and reduced status is,” said Klunk.

The schools are still going to make the meals accessible though.

“We’re going to do pickups again, and have all the buildings open for pickup sites as well as delivery. So we’re working with GoRiteWay again to develop routes,” said Haug.

Both school districts sent out surveys to families to determine if they would be interested in the meals.

“Forty two percent indicated that they would participate in school meals still and want either pickup or delivery so we’re going to do whatever we can to make that as easy as possible,” said Haug.

West Salem anticipates that meals would cost somewhere between $2.85 to $3.20 per day, depending on the student’s grade level.

Both school districts encourage families experiencing tough times to fill out a free and reduced lunch application.