School Lunches on the Rise in District 204

This is the first year for Organic Life – District 204’s new food service provider.

And in that first year, it’s managed to reverse the trend of declining participation that started in 2016.

At the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year, there was an average of about 8,600 meals served per day. That has since grown to over 9,100 meals per day, according to data from February.

The food is also getting more positive reviews from students.

“For us to go from a 38.1 percent ‘I agree that the food tastes good’ to almost 52 percent is pretty telling on the quality of the food and how it’s being served by Organic Life,” said Ronald Johnson, District 204’s director of support services.

The district wants to continue increasing meal participation, and is considering rolling out breakfast to all schools that don’t serve it.

Currently, it’s served everywhere except one middle school and five elementary schools.

“What is the reason we’re not serving breakfast,” asked Johnson. “It is a building decision, but is it because the busses come too late? Is it the size of the Free and Reduced Lunch Program population? Is there no demand because students eat before they come?”

Board members were supportive of serving breakfast everywhere, citing studies that show a good breakfast improves academic performance throughout the day.

Naperville News 17’s Blane Erwin reports.

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