All students at Parker schools will get free breakfast and lunch, starting on the first day of school this year, thanks to a new federal program.
The program is the National School Lunch Program’s Community Eligibility Provision, which is in turn part of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. It was made available to all states in 2014-2015.
For a school or school district to be eligible, at least 40 percent of its students much be directly certified for free meals. The Parker Unified School District (PUSD) meets this qualification.
According to PUSD Superintendent Jim Lotts, this will make it much easier for parents.
“Parents will no longer be required to fill out household income applications,” Lotts told Parker Live, “and the District will no longer be required to track meal counts by Free, Reduced, and Paid categories. We are excited to be able to offer this new program for all of our families attending our schools and believe it will be beneficial to all of our students.”
Parents will not need to do anything to register their child in the program. Food must meet the program’s standards for nutritional quality and healthfulness.