WILLIAMSON, W.Va. – Students in Mingo County Schools will have the opportunity to eat breakfast and lunch at school at no cost. The county is participating in a program called the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP).
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 fourth 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. If at least 40 percent of a school’s students are directly certified for free meal benefits, the entire school qualifies for the option.
All Mingo County schools will once again participate in the CEP. The program allows the school system to feed nearly 4300 students each day. Mingo County Schools has participated in this program since it became available in 2012.
“To provide the best possible education to the students of Mingo County, we are pleased to provide free breakfast and lunch to all students for the 2016-2017 school year,” said Don Spence, Mingo County Schools Interim Superintendent.
West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Martirano emphasized the importance of providing healthy meals to students in the Mountain State.
“I am proud that Mingo County Schools will be participating in the CEP program to help meet a crucial need for student success in our state,” Martirano said. “We know academic achievement increases when our students are well fed and ready to learn and we must provide access so all students have a chance to achieve.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently released data reporting high levels of food insecurity and hunger across the country. In West Virginia, over 14 percent of residents live in food insecure households and more than 100,000 children live below the poverty line.
For more information, contact the Mingo County Office of Child Nutrition at 304-235-7142.
Mingo County Schools is an equal opportunity provider.