KUNM

Los Alamos Ditches Federal Lunch Program

Mar 3, 2017

The Los Alamos School District is going to pull out of the National School Lunch Program next year.

Around 13 percent of Los Alamos students are eligible for free or reduced price lunches this year, according to the Public Education Department. That’s in stark contrast to the rest of the state where more than half and sometimes nearly all students are eligible.

Los Alamos district officials say they will continue to feed low-income students using local donations. Joe Palmer is in charge of food services for the district.

"This just gives us the opportunity to give some larger portions and be a little bit more creative with our menu," Palmer said.

Students whose families are eligible for food stamps automatically qualify for free or reduced price lunches, and schools receive reimbursement from the federal government.

But Palmer says the National School Lunch Program offers no variety, slows down service, and provides just one portion size for all elementary school children.