Serving it up – feeding students

Published 4:30 pm Thursday, August 27, 2020

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Charlotte County Public School (CCPS) students may currently be at home learning virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but each student still has the opportunity to a receive a healthy breakfast and lunch at no charge each day of the 2020-2021 school year, but in order for the service to continue, all students must take part in the program.

CCPS met qualifications for the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) Program that was created as part of the USDA’s National School Lunch Program.

“It is critical for parents and students to understand that kids must participate and pick-up meals both remotely and in-person for us to continue this program next year,” CCPS Superintendent Robbie Mason said.

The CEP is open to all students enrolled at CCPS regardless of income.

According to Mason, CCPS is currently averaging 800 meals per day being delivered or picked up at schools.

“This is the first year that we have participated because our direct certification numbers have not been high enough in the past for us to participate without risking major financial losses,” Mason said. “We are reimbursed at a certain rate for each meal, which is why students’ daily participation is so critical.”

Without CEP, Charlotte County Public Schools breakfast costs $1.50, and lunch costs $2.60 per student, per day. Free and reduced meals cost 40 cents and 60 cents.

Meals will be available for pick-up Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at any school. Meals can also be picked up at the normal bus route stops Tuesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons. Buses will depart from each school at 2 p.m.

While CCPS is in session via virtual learning, the buses will be used to deliver meals. However, Mason says that once the hybrid school session begins September 14, that will come to an end.

“Once students return to school on a hybrid basis, our buses will be delivering students again. Therefore, home delivery will likely not continue to be an option for meal delivery, but school site pick up would likely remain,” he added.

More than 30 million children in low-income households rely on the free or reduced-price school meals program for their nutritional needs

Through school nutrition programs, approximately 112,700 million lunches, 57 million breakfasts, and 1.4 million afterschool snacks are served during the school year in Virginia public schools.