By Katie Lamb,
Freelance Writer

The USDA Food and Nutrition Service, www.usda.gov, regarding its National School Lunch Program, states, “The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) is 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.”
The School Nutrition Association (SNA), www.schoolnutrition.org, reports, “Nearly 100,000 schools/institutions serve school lunches to 29.8 million students each day, and over 90,000 schools/institutions serve school breakfasts to 14.71 million students each day.”
Kathy McCulloch, Director, Johnson County Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) program, proudly stated, “One hundred percent of our students are eligible for free breakfast and lunch daily.”
Feeding America, www.feedingamerica.org,is an
organization that has responded to the hunger crisis in America by providing food to people in need through
a nationwide network of
food banks for thirty-five years.
“It’s a simple fact: A child’s chance for a bright tomorrow starts with getting enough food to eat today. But in America, one in six children may not know where they will get their next meal. “For the more than twelve million kids in the U.S. facing hunger, getting the energy, they need to learn and grow can be a daily challenge. Kids who don’t get enough to eat, especially during their first three years, begin life at a serious disadvantage. When they’re hungry, children are more likely to be hospitalized, and they face higher risks of health conditions like anemia and asthma. And as they grow up, kids struggling to get enough to eat are more likely to have problems in school and
other social situations. Children facing hunger may struggle in school and beyond. They are more likely to
repeat a grade, experience developmental impairments in areas like language and
motor skills, and have more social and behavioral problems.”
For more information, please call Kathy McCulloch, Director Johnson County CEP at 423-727-2657, visit www.schoolnutrition.org, www.usda.gov, or www.fns.usda.gov/school-meals/community-eligibility-provision.