Food program guidelines change

More kids will qualify for lower-cost school lunch programs this fall.
Krystle Wagner
Aug 8, 2014


The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently released guidelines for the National School Lunch, School Breakfast, Special Milk, and Child and Adult Care Food programs, which are up 1.27 percent from last year. Now, families of four at 130 percent and 185 percent of the poverty level qualify if their incomes are $31,005 and $44,123, respectively.

The change is based on the economy, and it means more people will qualify for the programs, said Michigan Department of Education spokesman Bill DiSessa.

Families with income between 130 percent and 185 percent of the poverty level are eligible for reduced-price meals and milk, meaning they won’t be charged more than 30 cents for breakfast and 40 cents for lunch.

The new guidelines are effective through June 2015, and DiSessa encourages eligible families and students to participate in the federal programs.

“These programs are very important,” he said. “They provide very nutritious meals.”

About 49 percent of Michigan’s K-12 students were eligible for the free or reduced lunches during the 2013-14 school year. About 70 percent of those students participated in the program.

Read the complete story in today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.




Maybe these days’ public schools will figure out a way to allow the kids of poor parents discretion and dignity along with lunch. Whitehall used to have these bright yellow lunch tickets for kids who did not have lunch money or a lunch and lined them us all together in lunch line instead of mixing them in with everyone else. Once being identified as the "poor" kids you had to endure physical as well as verbal and emotional insults by the other children who mock and insult your parents because you had that damn yellow ticket. Thanks Charlie was a great lesson in life to have been in your school when poor automatically meant lazy and immoral from the administration on down.


NO worries Wolv. Half the kids, just like the rest of the country, are on the dole. The majority is just a year away. They will rule the roost and have no reason to feel different and marginalized. They will be the power. They can get the tickets made any color they want. Free food for everyone! Oh, you may need four pop cans.

Back to the Wall

Interesting concept, owell.

Are you suggesting that the reduced cost lunches are being made available to a wider segment of society as a means to destigmatize the acceptance of governmental assistance, thereby creating a larger body of welfare reliant individuals, further normalizing the welfare state and empowering governmental programs rather than empowering the individual?

Very provocative.


Honestly I have never commented on any of the tribune articles but this one just pushed me over the edge. I realize as a small town newspaper the writers love having splashy articles but shaming children shouldn't be acceptable. The title of this article on the web is perfectly acceptable and tells the reader exactly what the article is about. Open up your paper tribune and in the biggest font possible the title goes from "Food Program Guidelines Change" to "More Kids get Free Food". How dare you shame these children, I knew kids in school and even was one in my freshmen year of high school who was too embarrassed to go up and see what was covered in the reduced lunch program. So I and many others just didn't eat.

You think giving kids who are in school for 8 hours a day food will make them adults who rely on public assistance their whole life, I've got a newsflash for you: Children who wake up at 6 in the morning and don't eat till they get home at 4 in the afternoon don't have the same ability to learn their too busy looking at the clock waiting to get home hoping that something is in the cupboard for them to eat.

There were multiple points in my childhood that I received free or reduced lunch. I'm now going to school to be a nurse and while I don't believe my future children will need free or reduced lunch I am more than happy to see my taxes going to help America’s future get the most out of their education.


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