Hernando County Schools to provide free meals to all students
The Hernando County School Board approved the expansion of the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) program first implemented by the school district in 2017. At the June 26th workshop, Lori Drenth, Director of Food and Nutrition Services, made the recommendation to expand CEP to include all public schools in Hernando allowing the district to provide free breakfast and lunch to all students through school year 2022.
During the 2017-18 school year, CEP was in place at 17 of the district’s 23 schools. High schools were not included at the time. With this expansion, all students, including those who attend public charter schools in the district, will be able to eat for free and without completing cumbersome applications.
“After reviewing all of the information from our first year with CEP, we saw how impactful the program was for our students and families. We believe that by expanding CEP to all of our schools, we are able to ensure that all of our students have access to healthy and nutritious meals,” Drenth said. “Our School Board also feels strongly that success in school is enhanced when children are fed.”
Additional details regarding the Community Eligibility Provision program funded by the United States Department of Agriculture can be found here: https://www.fns.usda.gov/school-meals/community-eligibility-provision.