Kiski Area might provide free after-school meals for students
The Kiski Area School District wants to add dinner to the meals it serves students.
The school board is expected within the next two months to approve applying for a federal program that pays for dinners or snacks for students who stay for after-school activities, according to Superintendent Tim Scott.
Kelly Patterson, manager for the Nutrition Group of Irwin, brought the idea to the school board Wednesday. The company manages the district’s food services.
Under the program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture through its Child and Adult Care Food Program, after-school meals and snacks would be served in group settings at no cost to students.
The program is offered after the regular school day ends or on weekends and holidays during the school year.
There is no application form for parents or guardians to fill out.
Kiski Area meets the criteria for the program because it has at least one school with at least half of the students meeting income limits to qualify for free or reduced cost lunches, according to Patterson.
“The program would provide a free dinner to all students staying after school, and it would be free to everybody,” Patterson said.
Her experience with other schools is that the program financially sustains itself. She estimates that the federal program would reimburse the district about $3.50 for each dinner.
“Some evenings, we have hundreds of students here,” Scott said.
Patterson said she would begin by talking to school principals for information on the need for dinners at individual schools and potential staffing.
School board member Tamra Smail said, “Sounds like a program that can help our students.”
The application will take some time, according to Patterson.
She expects the earliest the program would go into effect would be the start of next school year.
Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-226-4691, email@example.com or via Twitter .