Eagle County parents can watch what their kids buy for lunch | VailDaily.com

Eagle County parents can watch what their kids buy for lunch

EAGLE COUNTY — Learning what your kids bought for lunch is now as easy as a mouse click.

Local families can go online to sign up for free and reduced lunches, the school district announced.

As part of that, parents can set up email alerts that will tell you when your beloved little blessings from above are spending your hard-earned money on junk food and eating low balanced meals. You can also view your kids’ meal purchases and set daily and weekly spending limits.

You can do all this by going to the school district’s website, http://www.eagle schools.net, and clicking on the “Lunch Menu” tab on the left side of your screen. Then click on the “MyLunchMoney” tab.

The new “Heartlandapps” tab is also found under the Lunch Menu page, and in one click starts the free and reduced lunch application process.

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“Adding the functionality of the online application for free and reduced meals expedites the process and provides the students with the food they need faster,” said Jason Glass, superintendent of Eagle County schools. “This is a very important support service for our kids. We don’t want anyone in our district to go hungry.”

Besides keeping up with what your kids are eating, you can add money to their account. Transactions are protected by SSL encryption and are certified by VeriSign, Glass said.

During registration, schools will make computers available for people who want to sign up for the program.

Who’s eligible?

To be eligible for reduced lunches, families’ incomes need to fall below 185 percent of the federal poverty level. That’s $43,567.50 annual income for a family of four.

That’s almost half the families in the Eagle County school district.

“In Eagle County, 45 percent of our student population qualifies for this program. In three of our schools, over 70 percent of the students qualify,” said Dan Dougherty, the school district’s communications director.

Several area foundations provide breakfast for many of those same students, bolstering their nutrition and ability to concentrate on learning, Dougherty said.

The National School Lunch Program is a federally assisted meal program in more than 100,000 public and nonprofit schools. In 2011, it provided 31 million children with free or low cost lunches and snacks, according to government data.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

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