Lee County public schools are offering both breakfast and lunch free of charge to 85 locations including schools and learning centers for the 2018-2019 school year. This is the first time both meals will be provided to all students in Lee County schools through the Food and Nutrition Services Department, Community Eligibility Program.
This is the first time both meals will be provided to all students in Lee County schools through the Food and Nutrition Services Department, Community Eligibility Program.
Students can consume these meals in their school cafeteria. The meals include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, protein and milk. In the last several years, schools in Lee County have made a concerted push to bring in fresh produce from local farms.
Parents will not need to apply.
“Free and Reduced” meal applications don’t need to be completed or processed for this benefit, saving time from a complicated and time-consuming process.
Lauren Couchois, Food and Nutrition Services special projects coordinator, believes the program will have an immediate impact on students.
“We realize if a student is hungry, their ability to learn is compromised and providing this benefit will help our students excel,” Couchois said.
The Community Eligibility Provision is a non-pricing meal service option for schools and school districts that reside in low-income areas. The Community Eligibility Provision allows the nation’s highest poverty schools and districts to serve breakfast and lunch at no cost. Household applications of enrolled students is not necessary.
Students in Collier County schools still require an application to be completed and submitted for reduced price lunches. This process may take a few weeks to be approved. If qualified, the student will receive both lunch and breakfast. If a student isn’t eligible for the benefits, the cost of lunch for elementary students is $2.00 while it is $2.25 for secondary students.