Ponca City, OK, used to be a booming oil town. Conoco Oil was the region’s biggest employer and the population included a hefty proportion of engineers, administrators and other white collar professionals. Jeff Denton, director of nutrition services for the Ponca City Schools, grew up in the area and remembers those days well. When he took over his current position in 1990, the system’s free/reduced percentage was under 30%. Today, that percentage is 70%, thanks largely ...

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