6 Dubuque schools to receive free meals next year - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

6 Dubuque schools to receive free meals next year

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

Nearly 2,100 students in the Dubuque Community School District will be eating breakfast and lunch for free next school year.

Six schools -- Lincoln, Audubon, Fulton, Marshall and Prescott elementary schools, along with Thomas Jefferson Middle School -- will be part of the Community Eligibility Provision for Schools program next school year.

The program, now in its second year, allows the district to provide free meals for students at those schools at no cost to the district.

"Research shows time and time again that students really need a nutritious breakfast and lunch to give them the fuel to get through the school day, help them thrive and succeed in the classroom, and, really, CEP helps assure these meals are available to these kids," said Kelsey Salow, assistant manager of food and nutrition for the school district.

For parents like Sarah Schlotfeldt, who has two kids at Jefferson Middle School, it means she doesn't have to choose between paying bills and providing hot lunches for her kids.

"Sometimes it is a choice of, my water bill runs about what it costs me for even two kids to have hot lunch, so, in that respect, I don't have to do this or that in my thinking, which we have to do a lot," Schlotfeldt said.

To be eligible for the program, schools must have 40 percent of its students already eligible for other food assistance programs, like SNAP. 

The district will be enrolled in the program for the next four years, with the option to add or drop schools in that time.

"This first year will allow us to get a good big picture, especially financially, of the additional cost as well as the additional revenue we'll receive," Salow said. "And we'll be able to see if possibly we could add another school or two in the future."

And for Schlotfeldt? Well, it's just nice to get some help, she said.

"It really does help to know that, come what may, regardless of circumstances, that they're going to be able to have the hot meals here just like everybody else," Schlotfeldt said.

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