District continues program to offer free school breakfast/lunch to all students under the Community Eligibility Provision
The Watervliet City School District will continue offering free school breakfast and lunch to include all students (kindergarten to grade 12) through the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) this year. This national program, overseen locally by the New York State Education Department, allows eligible high-needs schools to serve breakfast and lunch free of charge to all students, regardless of economic eligibility.
The CEP program was first implemented at the elementary school level, and last year was approved to expand to Watervliet Junior/Senior High students.
The provision, authorized under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, permits eligible schools to provide meal service and after-school snacks to all students at no charge, regardless of family income. Watervliet qualified for the program based on the number of students who are eligible to be directly certified for free school meals.
District officials encourage students to participate in the free school meal programs. “When children are hungry, they struggle to learn,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lori Caplan. “Offering healthy, well-balanced meals at no charge to students will help us alleviate the distraction of hunger and allow students to focus on learning.”
Under the provision’s requirements, students must take a complete entrée, including fruit, vegetable and milk. Students will continue to have the option to pay for items if they want additional meals, à la carte items, snacks or just milk. Parents can still upload money to their child’s SchoolBucks account to cover the cost of the additional items.
Families are asked to submit a brief CEP Household Income Eligibility Form. Collection of this information is necessary for the district to qualify for federal and state funding for other educational and student programs. Copies of the form also are available by contacting the district’s Food Service Department. Please submit one form per household.
School breakfast and lunch meals follow United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines for healthy school meals. For more information, contact:
Darryl Whited, Food Service Director
Phone: (518) 629-3261, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org