The Board of Education last week voted unanimously to accept a donation that helps kids enrolled in New Canaan Public Schools’ free and reduced lunch program.
The “incredibly generous donation” from an unnamed individual goes into an initiative that the district piloted last year within the program, according to Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi.
“Without going into too much detail, the long and short of it is that it’s an opportunity to help children across the district that are in that program to have a little bit more flexibility in their purchasing of snacks and food in our cafeteria,” Luizzi said during the Board of Ed’s regular meeting, held Nov. 20 in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School.
“There’s one anonymous donor who’s underwriting this for us,” Luizzi said before the school board voted 9-0 in favor of accepting the $27,649.76 donation, facilitated by the New Canaan Community Foundation. (The NCCF, which currently is undergoing its annual appeal, helps many local organizations and fundraising efforts by setting up donor-supported funds.)
Luizzi noted in describing the unnamed donor’s support within the lunch program that the $27,000 doesn’t represent the total amount.
“There’s a little bit more involved,” he said.
Luizzi added, “But the idea is to help make sure that every child in our school district feels valued and included and welcome. And we all know that the cafeteria can be a tough place for all kids, and I think this makes it a little less tough for some of our kids. It’s an incredibly generous act. And so it’s coming through the New Canaan Community Foundation, but it’s really one individual who is unnamed but is just an incredible human being for helping our kids out like this.”
According to the district’s website, NCPS follows federal income guidelines in establishing eligibility for its free and reduced ($1) lunch program.
“If the free or reduced lunch application is approved, the student is qualified to receive a complete lunch meal,” the website says. “This meal includes the main entrée, fruit, vegetable and a choice of small water, small milk or small juice. Additional snacks or drinks can be purchased separately.”
Following Luizzi’s description of the program, Board of Ed Chair Hugo Alves said it was “wonderful.”
Alves, Board of Ed Vice Chair Erica Schwedel, Secretary Matt Campbell and members Brendan Hayes, Julie Toal, Lara Kelly, Penny Rashin, Matt Wexler and Phil Hogan voted in favor.