NORRISTOWN, Pa. – The Norristown Area School District will provide free breakfast and lunch to all students, regardless of their economic eligibility, for the first time beginning in the 2016-2017 school year.
This new opportunity called the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) was authorized by Congress as a part of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. The provision has been phased in by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) over the past several years, and became available nationwide beginning July 1, 2014.
Schools that participated in the initial pilot saw an increase in breakfast participation of 9.4 percent, and an increase in lunch participation of 5.2 percent. During the 2015-2016 school year, more than 18,000 schools participated in community eligibility. As a result, more than 8.5 million children in these schools have been able to focus on their studies without being distracted by hunger or worry about the stigma of free or reduced meals.
Families in the Norristown Area School District will no longer need to fill out the traditional school meal application. All students will automatically have access to a free breakfast and a free lunch at school each day. The new Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) does not however cover the cost of extra servings, and a la carte (snack) items. Those items will be available for students to purchase.
The District has been committed to student, staff, and community health and wellness since the inception of the Norristown Area School Health Council in 2005. The School District Wellness Policy advocates for healthy behaviors and a healthy environment for all students. The Community Eligibility Provision will provide the students in the District the nutrition and energy children need to be healthy and ready to learn.
Debbie Martin – 610-630-5023