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Food program needs full participation

Posted on Wednesday, September 6, 2017 at 2:35 pm

All Cople Elementary students are now eligible for free breakfast and lunch. However lack of participation could wind up costing the school system money by losing reimbursements. Parents are asked to encourage their children to take advantage of both breakfast and lunch in the cafeteria.

Westmoreland Food Service Supervisor Hazel W. Hickman spoke with school board members at their August meeting to explain the new program and why participation is so important.
Hickman said this year the Westmoreland County School system is fortunate to have full approval for a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) allowing Cople Elementary School to offer free breakfast and lunch to all students attending, regardless of income.

The state has identified 57 percent of students to be eligible. Hickman told the group. “91.7 percent of students meals we will be reimbursed on the free rate and we have 8.7 percent of students meals that will be reimbursed at the federal paid rate, which is only 32 cents.”

“We need make sure that all of our students participate in this program,” Hickman said. “We have a lot of students who pack lunch. It’s fine to pack lunch but we need these students to eat in the cafeteria.”

Hickman explained if students do not take advantage of the program our federal or state reimbursement falls that means that someone has to come up with the funds to cover the cost. “The Federal reimbursement we get for the other schools can not be used to subsidize this program.”

Read more of this story in the September 6 issue of the Westmoreland News.