Logan schools to offer free meals for 2014-15

Karissa Blackburn kblackburn@civitasmedia.com

August 22, 2014

Logan County students will have the opportunity to eat breakfast and lunch at school at no cost during the upcoming school year. The county is participating in a program called the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP).

CEP provides an alternative approach for offering school meals to local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools in low income areas, instead of collecting individual applications for free and reduced price meals.

“We know that a child cannot focus on school work if they are hungry while in class,” said Chuck Heinlein, state superintendent of schools. “I applaud Logan County Schools for deciding to participate in the CEP. It is a true benefit to our students and their families.”

The CEP was enacted as a result of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act and provides universal meal service to children in high poverty areas. This is the second year for the option. The CEP is an alternative to collecting, approving and verifying household eligibility applications for free and reduced price eligible students in high poverty Local Education Agencies (LEA). If at least 40 percent of a school’s students are directly certified for free meal benefits, the entire school qualifies for the option.

Logan County Schools expect to have seventeen schools participate in the CEP. All elementary, middle, and high schools will be participating. The program allows the school system to provide an average of 7,812 meals each day.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently released data reporting high levels of food insecurity and hunger across the country. In West Virginia, nearly 14 percent of residents live in food insecure households and more than 88,500 children live below the poverty line.