October 30, 2014

Elyria
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Reliance on reduced lunches continues to grow in Lorain Schools

school mealsLORAIN — The vast majority of Lorain Schools students continue to receive free or reduced-price meals.

Eighty-five percent of students qualified for free or reduced-price breakfasts and lunches in the 2012-13 school year, according to a report made to Board of Education members at their Tuesday meeting. The percentage — up 1 percent from 2011-12 – is close to the school district’s poverty rate, which was 88 percent in the last school year, according to the Ohio Department of Education.

Due to the high numbers, the school district was eligible this year for a department program called the Community Eligibility Option, according to Frank Horvatich, local director of Aramark, an international food service company that serves the district. The program, paid with federal taxpayer money through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, allows meals to be free for all pre-kindergarten through eighth grade students.

“This is huge for our district,” Horavatich told board members. “Just show up and eat.”

Horvatich said Lorain High School students and students from the Credit Recovery and New Beginnings academies were ineligible, but he plans to apply to the department again. Horvatich said 400 fewer breakfasts were served per day to high school students because teachers voted against allowing breakfasts to be served in classrooms.

Horvatich said Aramark hopes that will change next year.

“We know that if we serve breakfasts in the classroom, students will eat it,” he said.

Horvatich said after the meeting that need for free or reduced meals has grown “drastically” since he began working in Lorain in 1995. He said about 65 percent of students participated when he began. Horvatich encouraged parents who might not be aware their children are eligible for the eligibility option to go to the district’s website.

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com.


  • levtrotsky

    What happened to a bowl of cereal for breakfast at home and a brown-bag sandwich for lunch? Old fashioned I guess,…… let someone else (government) feed my kids!

    • Carrie Watson

      I understand what you’re saying, but my counter-argument is what about parents that have to be at work first thing in the morning, and may be working second jobs sometimes, just to meet the basic survival needs of their families? I’m not saying this is everyone. There are some people who need to re-examine their priorities, but I thank God that there are school lunches and breakfasts. This protects our children and ensures that they can get the nutrition they need in order to learn, and even survive.

  • Logdog39

    Of course Aramark and Mr. Horvatich would LOVE to see more students in the “program”, they’re making big MONEY ! Hey, how about feeding these kids dinner TOO ? And, how about we call them “Obama Youth” and take over raising them according to “governmental standards” ? And then they could become the “Blue Shirts” ! Oh wait, some charismatic leader already tried that and it didn’t turn out very well for him. I guess he just wasn’t as charismatic as our “leader” !