The Parker School Board has approved a program that Superintendent Brad Sale said will, hopefully, prevent any of their students from going hungry in the summer months. At their Nov. 13 meeting, the board approved a Memorandum of Agreement with the Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona for the summer Electronic Benefits Transfer program.
As explained by Sale, this program provides qualifying families with a debit card that can be used for up to $40 in food subsidies during the summer months.
Sale said the program is from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and is administered in Arizona by the Inter-Tribal Council. The Parker Unified School District qualified for the program because the district is located on an Indian reservation and is the community eligible district for reduced-price and free lunches.
As for who qualifies, Sale said so many students at Blake Primary School and Le Pera Elementary School are from families that qualify for public assistance that the entire student bodies from both schools qualify for the program. As for Wallace Elementary School, Wallace Junior High and Parker High School, parents or guardians would need to fill out an income verification form the ITC will provide.
Sale said that those students are WES, WJH and Parker High who are already on public assistance automatically qualify for the program.
The district will provide the ITC with a list of the students who qualify for the program, Sale said. The ITC will handle everything else. Everything should be set up by March. He added that parents can opt out of the program if they so choose.
Sale estimated that between 800 and 1,000 students will take advantage of this program.
The period to be covered by the program is May 15 to Aug. 15, 2020.
“It will at least help with summer food,” Sale said.
Sale told the school board they plan to continue the summer breakfast and lunch program through the schools in the summer of 2020.
“Between this and our summer food program, none of our kids should go hungry,” Sale said.
For more information, or for any questions, call Sale or Karen Bonds at 928-669-9244.