Many children in Arizona are eligible to receive free or reduced-price meals at school. Arizona Public Radio’s Justin Regan reports, during the statewide teachers strike, districts in northern Arizona are working to keep food programs going.
The Arizona Department of Education has authorized all participating districts to keep the free meal program running during the strike. Seven Flagstaff Unified School District campuses are offering breakfast and lunch including Killip, Kinsey and Marshall Elementary Schools.
"Over 50% of our students at FUSD are on free or reduced meals," says Chris Wilke, Director of food service with FUSD. "So a lot of them aren’t going to get a good meal if they don’t eat at school. We’ll be here Monday through Friday everyday as long as this is going on."
While the strike continues, the free meal program is operating under summer rules, meaning any child 18 and under can receive a meal regardless of whether they’re a student. The Flagstaff Family Food Center is also providing meals and other services in response to the walkout. For KNAU, I’m Justin Regan.