NewsLocal NewsIn Your NeighborhoodManitowoc


Is it back? After weeks of debate, free lunches may once again be offered at Manitowoc Schools

Posted at 12:22 AM, Oct 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-25 01:22:48-04
  • Superintendent Jim Feil decided to end a federally funded free lunch program, called C-E-P, causing public backlash.
  • Two weeks ago a public input meeting was held where a petition was presented with hundreds of names calling for Feil to resign. Tonight was the first meeting since.
  • At the meeting, six of the seven board members asked Feil to reconsider. Feil said that he would look into reinstating C-E-P and would ask the board to vote on it next meeting.

Superintendent Feil’s decision to leave the Community Eligibility Provision or C-E-P was met by an outpour of community backlash. After tonight's board meeting that decision may be reversed.

Tonight, at the board meeting board members voiced their opinions on the recent backlash from Superintendent Feil leaving C-E-P.

"You know, there are potentially some unintended consequences that we may not have seen when we opted out," treasurer Tony Vlastelica said.

"It should be decided by this board whether or not we feed kids efficiently and right now we are not doing that," board member Paul Hansen said. "Wisconsin Department of Instruction, there are people on there that are willing to work with us to reinstate the lunch program."

Six of the seven board members asked Superintendent Feil to reconsider his decision with board member Mathew Phipps asking Feil to stick with his original decision.

"I'm a big parental rights person so I believe parents should have the rights to make decisions for their children," Phipps said. "But you cannot have a parental rights discussion without parental responsibilities."

Vice President, Matthew Spaulding told me he will support Feil with whatever decision he makes.

"If you decide to go back to C-E-P, I'll support that, if you decide to stand your ground, I'll support that as well," Spaulding said.

And President Stacey Soeldner…

"I think that Jim made the decision that he did and with the new information that he has, that you make the decision on whether or not to go back into C-E-P," Soeldner.

After all discussion was made Superintendent Feil had this to say of C-E-P.

"I can tell you that I will proceed with that," Feil said. "With reinstating it if we are allowed to otherwise it will be next year."

Superintendent Feil said there is no guarantee that C-E-P will be reinstated, but with the help from Wisconsin DPI, the board may be voting to rejoin the lunch program by next meeting.