CULLMAN, Ala. – The Cullman County Schools Child Nutrition Program recently announced that for the 2023-2024 school year, breakfasts and lunches will be free for all students who attend Cullman County Schools.
Child Nutrition Program Director Emily Blankenship said this is possible because of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service Community Eligibility Provision (CEP). She said Cullman County Schools qualified for the program, “a non-pricing meal service option for schools and school districts in low-income areas. CEP allows the nation’s highest poverty schools and districts to serve breakfast and lunch at no cost to all enrolled students without collecting household applications.” (www.fns.usda.gov/cn/community-eligibility-provision)
“We can stay on this program for four years. As long as we stay within a certain percentage, we can stay on the program for as long as possible,” said Blankenship. “The CEP gives students equal access to free meals and it removes the stigma.”
Blankenship said she believes students will greatly benefit from the program. Her excitement is shared by Cullman County Schools Superintendent Dr. Shane Barnette.
“We are very excited to be able to offer free breakfast and lunch to all of our Cullman County Students once again. We were allowed to do this during the pandemic, and when we had the opportunity to apply for this again we felt it was great for our families,” he said.
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