National lunch program dropped by Illinois district

Friday, May 9, 2014

A northwest suburban school district is quitting the National School Lunch Program over a health-focused federal policy taking effect this year that officials say likely will cause the district to lose money.

The Arlington Heights-based Township High School District 214 school board voted Thursday to cut itself loose from the U.S. Department of Agriculture program, even though the decision creates uncertainty for low-income students who rely on the program’s reduced-price meals. The district will also lose a related $900,000 federal subsidy.

That dollar amount is outstripped by the $2.2 million in annual food service revenue that comes from the a la carte menu, which sells things like pizza, fries and Subway sandwiches. The district also said it gets $543,000 in revenue from vending machines.

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