skip to Main Content
Kindergarten students Maddox Sheffield and Brianna Lopez Dominguez eating lunch in the school cafeteria.

Caldwell Co. School Board Approves No Cost Meals Provision for Students

All students in grades PreK-12 will eat breakfast and lunch free effective August 28, 2023, the first day of the 2023-2024 school year when the implementation of the no-cost breakfast and lunch servings on school campuses will be in effect for four years as part of a key provision in the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act.

“This opportunity will allow all students to enjoy a nutritious breakfast and lunch without any pressures or stress of paying for meals that may be affecting the family budget,” said Jessica Price, Child Nutrition Director. “We anticipate much success with this program, including eased administrative burden, improved efficiency and increased participation in school meals.”

The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act is a meal service option for schools in high-poverty areas, which is calculated by the number of students eligible per school for free and reduced meals. CEP allows participating schools to provide breakfast and lunch to all students at no charge and without the burden of collecting and processing school meal applications. Instead, schools that have adopted CEP are reimbursed using a formula based on the percentage of students participating in other means-tested programs.

Since students will eat at no cost to them, this necessitates the suspension of all charging options for meals. If students would like to add à la carte items to their meal, payment will be required at the time of purchase.

The Caldwell County Board of Education unanimously approved the Community Eligibility Provision for four years in the Caldwell County Schools at the School Board business meeting on May 8, 2023.