Muhlenberg discusses vote on summer food program

MUHLENBERG TWP., Pa. - The Muhlenberg School Board tabled a vote to approve the 2017 summer food service pilot program.

Board President Otto Voit said he felt it necessary to postpone the vote until next month’s regular meeting because board member Jacklyn Rusnock was absent from Wednesday night’s meeting.

Superintendent Joseph Macharola proposed the project last year, but the board voted in opposition. Macharola again proposed the program to allow the district to provide free breakfast and lunch to underprivileged children, but this year, the board is divided.

According to Macharola, the district would receive meal reimbursement from the state via grants, and the funds would also allow staff members to earn additional wages. Macharola said the district can set the dates and times for the program.

“From past experience, I can tell you it’s not going to cost us anything,” Macharola said. He added the best place to feed the students would be the C.E. Cole cafeteria. “This would be the most logical place for us."

“There are wealthier school districts, much wealthier than Muhlenberg, and poor school districts, much poorer than Muhlenberg, that support a summer food program,” he said.

Township resident Lori Madeira said she doesn’t feel the district should do it.

“It is a good idea, but the help should come from the church. I would rather use our resources to educate our kids. Let’s let our churches do it and not our educators,” she said.

Voit said the board will further debate and discuss the program at next month’s committee of the whole meeting and vote on it at the regular board meeting on April 12.

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