Tuesday, July 1, 2014

More Time For Schools To Participate in Free Meal Program

USDA Extends Community Eligibility Deadline for Upcoming School Year
By Anne Fyffe

It is not too late for eligible schools in your community to notify their state agencies that they want to participate in Community Eligibility and provide free breakfast and lunch to all of their students for the 2014-2015 school year!

In mid-June, USDA Food and Nutrition Service announced an extension of the deadline for local educational agencies to elect to participate in Community Eligibility from June 30, 2014 to August 31, 2014!

Take Action: Find out if your schools are eligible here! For more links, scroll down.

Community eligibility is an opportunity for schools in areas that experience high levels of poverty to provide free breakfast and lunch to all of their students. A win-win for students and schools, community eligibility removes the families' and schools' burden of submitting paper applications to enroll students in school meal programs and works to ensure that all children in high-poverty communities receive two healthy meals a day, enabling them to pay better attention in class and perform better academically.

The PC(USA) is continuously a leader in the fight to end child hunger and has long recognized the "importance of federal nutrition programs as part of the path to ending hunger in our nation" (General Assembly Minutes, 1996, p.784). Community eligibility is one such program that will go a long way in providing healthy meals for children and ending hunger.

Take Action!
Here's what you can do now, before the August 31st deadline for school districts to notify their state agency that they want to participate in CEP for the 2014-2015 school year:
  • Check out our original post: Community Eligibility can make a positive impact in your community by serving more meals to hungry kids.
  • See if your School District is eligible: Check out the list of eligible schools in your state!
  • Contact your school's Administration: If your school is eligible, contact the administrators in your school district and ask them if they plan to participate in CEP next year.
  • Write an op-ed: Create some public discussion in your community around CEP by clicking here!
  • Learn more about community eligibility: Utilize these CEP resources from FRAC.