Lagging participation may end YEMS summer lunches

Lack of program participation could result in the Summer Lunch Program leaving Youngsville Elementary Middle School.

Warren County School District Business Manager Jim Grosch provided a program update to the school board’s Finance Committee on Monday.

The program, which was offered last summer at both Youngsville Elementary Middle School and Warren Area Elementary Center, served over 4,000 meals last year with over 3,000 served, 72 percent, at WAEC. At YEMS, 1,319 meals were served.

Grosch said he would like to make the recommendation that the program be discontinued at YEMS. He cited the decreased number of meals, as well as logistical problems with food preparation as the basis for the recommendation.

A similar shift occurred last year. Two years ago, the program was in place at YEMS and Sheffield Elementary School but was discontinued in Sheffield last year, and instituted at WAEC for 2012, as a result of a decline in meals served.

This year, Grosch explained “It was very sporadic the number of kids we had on a daily basis” at YEMS. In previous years, programs at the Rouse, as well as local churches, brought kids for lunch at the school. “They did not do that last year,” he said. “It created a loss for us financially.”

On average, 101 students per day ate lunch at WAEC while the average at YEMS was 39 with a single day high of 60.

Grosch said that the program will continue but will be held at WAEC, instead of other locations.

The recommendation to cut YEMS from the program will now go to the full board for action, likely at its March 11 meeting.