Beginning Monday, Richmond County Schools students without lunch money will follow a new procedure to receive a school lunch.
The School Lunch Voucher program was adopted by the Richmond County Board of Education in October.
The new program requires students to request a School Lunch Voucher from the school office. Students will have the voucher form completed prior to receiving lunch and a copy will be sent home to their parents. After four vouchers have been received by a student, a licensed member of the school staff will make contact with his or her family to discuss the student’s lunch eligibility status.
“This program is designed to prevent students from casually charging lunches,” Dr. George Norris, superintendent of Richmond County Schools, said. “We understand that students may occasionally forget their lunch or lunch money, but if a student consistently comes to school without his or her lunch money we need to know why.”
RCS Child Nutrition Director Lois Hood encourages families to complete an application for free or reduced lunch, if they consider themselves economically disadvantaged.
“If parents think their children qualify, it’s important that they invest the time to fill out the application. We are willing to review their information at any time,” Hood said. “We also want parents to know that this information is confidential, so no one has to know that their student receives free or reduced lunch.”
By completing the free and reduced lunch status application, students help the school district in several ways. RCS qualifies for E-rate funds through the federal government which provide technology services to the district.
The amount of funding is influenced by the district’s free and reduced lunch student population. RCS also receives federal Title I funding based on the percentage of free or reduced lunch students in the district.
Applications are available at every school and at the Richmond County Schools Central Office.
For more information about free and reduced lunch eligibility, please contact the RCS Child Nutrition Department at 910-582-5860.