Agriculture Under Secretary Kevin Concannon on Tuesday announced that more than half of the nation's high-poverty schools are now offering breakfasts and lunches to students at no cost through the new Community Eligibility Provision, made possible by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.
The provision improves access to nutritious meals for low-income students while reducing administrative burdens for households and schools, USDA said.
The provision provides an alternative to household applications for free and reduced price meals and also reduces the burden of collecting funds and maintaining accounts for the few students who pay for school meals.
To qualify, schools or districts must have at least 40% of the total student enrollment directly certified for free meals, based on their participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or other means-tested assistance programs.
Meal costs are shared between the federal government and the school or district.
For more information, visit the Community Eligibility Provision webpage.