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Free-meals-for-all-students program discontinued

Updated: Tuesday, October 22 2013, 05:27 PM EDT



Many students in the Switzerland of Ohio Local School District will now have to pay for their breakfast and lunch at school.

The school district's cafeteria director previously applied for a pilot program which would have allowed all students to receive free lunch.

However, the superintendent said that the cafeteria director made an error on the pilot program's application by miscalculating the number of students from low-income families.

School leaders said in a statement, "The state approved the district's acceptance into the program for a period of four years based on this application; however, the state discovered the cafeteria director's error while verifying our direct certification numbers in September."

Parents must soon pay for their children's breakfast and lunch again, unless they qualify for free or reduced prices. The forms to apply for free or reduced meals are available at school.

"The CEO program is something that your district pursued to try to assist you during these difficult financial times, but due to lack of qualification we will not be able to continue the program," the statement read.

School leaders have decided the money needed to participate in the federal cafeteria program, called Community Eligibility Option, could be better used elsewhere.

"There were no funds awarded to the district up-front. These programs operate on a reimbursement basis (the district funds the program up-front and the state reimburses us on the back-end)," administrators said in a statement.

The school district will transition back to the traditional payment method of meal program participation on Nov. 18.

Free-meals-for-all-students program discontinued

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