BURLEY — Cassia County’s economic situation has improved to the point that the school district no longer qualifies for federal funds to offer all students a free breakfast.
“It’s really a double-sided coin. We want the community to grow and the economy to improve, but it comes at a cost to some of our most vulnerable students,” Cassia County School District spokeswoman Debbie Critchfield said.
The free breakfast for all students was offered through an option called the Community Eligibility Provision. Due to improved economic conditions, the district no longer qualifies for the program.
Breakfast will still be offered to all students at a cost of $1.75.
Parents or guardians can also fill out a form to see if they meet eligibility requirements for reduced or free breakfast and lunch for their child.
Full price lunch for elementary students is $2; the cost for secondary students is $2.30. The reduced breakfast cost is 30 cents, and reduced lunch cost is 40 cents.
“Parents should fill out the eligibility form to see if they qualify,” Critchfield said.
The applications are available at the district office, 3650 Overland Ave., Burley, at any school in the district or on the district’s website.
“Some people are saying they don’t feel like their economic situation has improved at all and we are encouraging them to fill out the form,” Critchfield said.
Critchfield said the district was aware that the funding could be discontinued because Minidoka County School District lost its community eligibility funding last year.
“We looked into it deep when we lost our funding last year to see if there was another way to qualify for it,” Minidoka County School District Superintendent Ken Cox said. “Our food service really took a hit over that and our breakfast numbers really dropped. But, there was nothing we could do to influence it because it was based on the overall economy.”