Richland One to provide free meals to all students in 2015-2016
Beginning with the 2015-2016 school year, Richland One will offer meals at no cost to all students, regardless of family income. The average district family could save more than $400 per child in a school year. Parents will not have to complete any forms or other paperwork.
Thanks to a new federal program called Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), all 24,000 Richland One students will be able to eat breakfast, lunch, snacks and supper for free, said Imogene Clarke, Richland One’s director of Student Nutrition Services.
At least 33 other South Carolina school districts offer free meals to all of their students through the program,
“Paying for lunch can be a challenge for many families. Imagine families now having hundreds of dollars in extra money to use for other bills, instead of school lunch,” Clarke said. “Parents don’t have to send any money or take any other action for their children to receive school meals. This is a wonderful benefit to all families in Richland One.”
Studies show that children who are well-fed perform better in school. The CEP program is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National School Lunch Program. It allows schools with high student eligibility for free and reduced-price lunches to provide meals at no charge to all students regardless of income.
All district meals follow federal guidelines for healthy school meals. Clarke says with the start of this new program, the district hopes to be able to offer even more locally grown produce for students to enjoy. The free meals will be provided at all 52 district schools and centers in Richland One.
Media inquiries should be directed to the Richland One Office of Communications at 231-7504 or 231-7510.
Barron Academy will be available to provide after-school services for Pre-K - 5th grade students this school year.