HELENA – Helena Public Schools, Sodexo and the Kids Hunger Coalition are proposing a new Income Eligibility Campaign for school lunches.
The proposed campaign’s goal is to increase the number of people applying for support and improve outreach to families that may need assistance.
One suggested effort is to have principals reach out to families with outstanding meal balances to confidentiality discuss their options for food assistance.
According to the Kids Hunger Coalition there are a lot of students eligible for meal support that are not enrolled in free or reduced lunches.
Helena school board chair Sarah Sullivan says the district really wants to be a help rather than be a barrier to families.
“We’re really trying to take a compassionate and collaborative effort with families to work out any issues with them and make sure all kids get fed every day,” says Sullivan.
Sullivan wants to make it clear that it has never been the school district’s intention to target families that may be struggling.
Sullivan added that no child is ever denied food at school in the Helena School District.
The school district encourages parents to contact their child’s school or the district directly with any questions the have about school meal assistance.
Parents should also make sure to re-enroll every year for free or reduced lunches if they qualify and a family can apply for assistance at any time during the school year if their situation changes.