Eight district schools offer free breakfasts,
lunches to all students with federal program
BEAUFORT – Eight district schools are offering free breakfasts and lunches to all of their students.
The Community Eligibility Provision, a federally funded initiative, serves schools with high percentages of students from low-income families. The eight participating schools in Beaufort County this year are Beaufort Elementary, Lady’s Island Elementary, Robert Smalls International Academy, Joseph S. Shanklin Elementary, St. Helena Elementary, Whale Branch Elementary, Whale Branch Middle and Whale Branch Early College High.
Other schools will continue to offer free and reduced-price lunches to students whose families apply and demonstrate financial need under the National School Lunch Program, through which the district serves free meals to more than 10,000 students and reduced-price lunches to about 1,300 more.
CEP, established in 2010, is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Schools are eligible to participate if more than 40 percent of their students are determined to be low-income. In the eight participating Beaufort County schools, the average poverty rate is 84 percent.
There should be no cost to the district for the expanded services, said Roberta Peterson, who directs food services for Sodexo, the district’s contractor for school meals. No additional paperwork is needed from parents at the eight CEP schools.
Parents or guardians who do not want their children to participate in CEP may call Daniel Kolat in the district food services office at 843-322-0800. Parents wishing to make a formal appeal may make a request either orally or in writing to the Beaufort County School District Food Service Department at PO Box 755, Beaufort, SC 29902 for a hearing.