Three more schools have applied to offer free breakfast and lunch meals to all students through the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) from the United States Department of Agriculture. In August 2017, Anne Mason and Stamping Ground elementary schools and Cardinal Academy hope to join Garth, Georgetown Middle, Scott County Preschool, and Southern who implemented the program this year.
The program has been successful at the initial schools increasing the number of students who access nutritious meals free of charge. “The CEP program at Southern Elementary has been a huge success,” stated Principal Bryan Blankenship. Mitzi Marshall, Director of Nutrition for Scott County Schools, has evidence to prove it. CEP schools increased participation at lunch by 13.5% and breakfast by 30%.
Lori Knight, Nutrition Manager at GMS, could not be happier to see the number of breakfast meals double at her school. “Some kids tell us that they eat at home and at school. Others say they eat at school to save money at home. Whatever the case, we know our kids are starting the day freshly fueled and ready to learn,” Knight reflected.
Anne Mason, Cardinal Academy, and Stamping Ground are thrilled to join the ranks next year to provide this worthy service to students and families. “I am excited that this program will allow all of our students to receive a breakfast and lunch meal each day,” said Stamping Ground Principal Maria Bennett.
Cardinal Academy Principal Laura Rice sees the potential ripple effect for the students she serves. “Not only will our students receive free meals during the day, but we could then apply for the dinner program that would provide meals for our night school students as well.” Currently, Garth, Southern, and GMS provide free dinner meals to students too.
To be eligible to apply for the CEP program, schools must have at least 40% of students who receive free/reduced lunch through direct certification. Marshall is happy to see the program grow and serve more students. She is committed to a close and careful review of the data to ensure every eligible school can provide this service. “Anytime I can feed a child, I will,” Marshall stated.
The Scott County Schools Department of Nutrition meets high nutrition standards providing quality meals to students in Scott County each day. School meals offer plentiful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins using only the best ingredients.