Upshur County Schools to provide meals at no cost to students

BUCKHANNON — Students in Upshur County will have the opportunity to eat breakfast and lunch at school at no cost through a program called the Community Eligibility Provision, or 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.

The CEP serves as an alternative to collecting, approving and verifying household eligibility applications for free- and reduced-price eligible students in high-poverty Local Education Agencies, or LEAs. The entire school qualifies for the option if at least 40 percent of a school’s students are directly certified for free meal benefits.

“I am proud that Upshur County Schools will be participating in the CEP program to help meet a crucial need for many students in our county,” said Dr. Sara Lewis-Stankus, Superintendent of Upshur County Schools. “We know academic achievement increases when our students are well-fed and ready to learn, and we must provide secure and reliable access to nutritious meals, so all students have a chance to achieve at the highest level possible.”

Upshur County expects to have nine schools participate in the CEP. This will include all elementary schools, along with the Middle School and High School. The program allows the school system to feed nearly 3,800 students each day.

The 2017 Feeding America: Map the Meal Gap data reports high levels of food insecurity and hunger across the country. In West Virginia, more than 14 percent of residents, and over 79,000 children, live in food insecure households.

For more information, contact Eddie Vincent, Child Nutrition Director, by calling 304-472-5480.

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