All students at six Roanoke County Elementary Schools will receive free lunch during the 2022-2023 school year

Cheryl E Preston

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Roanoke County Elementary Schools offer free breakfast and lunchFree Lunch Program

Roanoke County adopts a no child left behind approach to free meals

Roanoke County Public Schools have decided to take the approach of no child left behind when it comes to feeding students. A pan has been implemented that will help disadvantaged school children by giving them free meals. On Wednesday, July 27 it was announced that Title I elementary schools in the district will offer breakfast and lunch at no change without the need for families to submit a meal application form.

Schools are identified for Title I funds based on the percentage of students who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Title I elementary schools that have the highest level of poverty receive funds from the government to be utilized for staff and resources to meet the needs of students and their families.

Qualifying elementary schools

The news that all students will qualify for free meals will be good news for parents who are struggling but whose income does not qualify for free lunch for their children under normal guidelines. The Roanoke County School district indicates that based on their "economically disadvantaged status", the following schools will participate in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP).

  • Burlington Elementary School, 6533 Peters Creek Rd, Roanoke
  • Herman L. Horn Elementary School, 1002 Ruddell Rd, Vinton, VA 24179
  • Masons Cove Elementary School, 3370 Bradshaw Rd, Salem
  • Mount Pleasant Elementary School, 3216 Mt Pleasant Blvd, Roanoke,
  • Mountain View Elementary School, 5901 Plantation Cir, Roanoke, VA
  • W.E. Cundiff Elementary School, 1200 Hardy Rd, Vinton

The purpose of CEP is to serve the most impoverished

CEP is implemented under the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 and according to the website: This is a "non-pricing meal service option" for schools in districts in low-income areas. CEP allows schools in the nation’s highest poverty districts to serve breakfast and lunch at 0 cost to all enrolled students. Until now students had to qualify based on their parents' income using household applications. Now, schools that adopt CEP will be reimbursed using a unique formula.

This will be based on the percentage of students who are "categorically eligible for free meals" because they participate in other specific means-tested programs. In other words, all students in the school district will receive free meals because of the percentage who qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

In layman's terms

For those not familiar with the terminology the SNAP program used to be referred to as the Food Stamp Program" and TANF was once called ADC, (Aid to Dependant Children) or a welfare check. Under CEP families that have been struggling but did not qualify for public assistance will now be assured that their children will obtain two meals while in school.

The Community Eligibility Provision Resource Center "provides extensive resources for parents, teachers, and school officials at the local, state, and federal levels." This provides more understanding of CEP, and its benefits, as well as offers useful tools that aid in facilitating the successful implementation of provisions for schools.

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I write, about breaking news, and current events. I wrote a newspaper column from 1997 to 2007 and have written for various online platforms since 2012 including Yahoo Contributor Network, Hubpages, and Vocal Media.

Roanoke, VA
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