Number of Brookings Students Receiving Free/Reduced Lunches Climbs
As of the end of March, 725 students in the Brookings Public Schools were receiving federally-funded free or reduced-cost cafeteria meals.
That number already exceeds last year's total by 127 children.
According to Mary Tauber, the school district's Food Services Director, 541 students are now receiving free lunches, and another 184 receive reduced-cost meals.
BBP relies largely on the district's free/reduced lunch statistics when estimating how many children might need its assistance. BBP now provides weekly foodbags to 210 students in the public schools (and an additional 39 students in Brookings Head Start). While perhaps impressive, that number represents less than a third of the children currently enrolled in the free/reduced lunch program.
"We have to continue reaching out to the families in our schools, letting them know that BBP is here, that BBP can be trusted, and that there's no shame in being helped," says BBP Co-Coordinator Susan Rosen. "Right now, BBP is doing a lot, but we're not keeping pace with the need in our community."