RCAS brings to light concerns of possible bullying of students on the free and reduced lunch program

Worries from some RCAS faculty members that bullying might occur to some students who are on...
Worries from some RCAS faculty members that bullying might occur to some students who are on the free and reduced lunch program.(Humberto Giles-Sanchez)
Published: Sep. 25, 2022 at 9:50 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - As students returned to the cafeteria to start their fall semester meals were a little different this year.

With the USDA child nutrition funding removed for the school year, free lunches at public schools will not apply to everybody. But while students can’t receive free lunches automatically anymore, families who relied on the USDA child nutrition funds can apply for the free and reduced lunch program provided by their local school district.

For the Rapid City Area Schools, the change brings up some questions on how some kids might feel about receiving free and reduced lunches.

”I think that providing a free lunch to everybody increased the number of kids, especially at the high school level, who were willing to eat high school lunch because it was the same, everybody was eating high school lunch because it was free for everybody,” said RCAS superintendent Nicole Swigart. “I worry that now kids will feel there’s something pointed at them for qualifying for free and reduced lunch and I don’t want that to ever be the case.”

With the free and reduced lunch, program back for the 2022-23 school year, the RCAS wants to make sure that students don’t feel out of place if they either have paid lunch or free and reduced lunch.