New Program Increases Access to Healthy School Meals
OLYMPIA – September 29, 2014 – A new federal program called the Community Eligibility Provision eliminates the stigma students may feel when they receive free or reduced-price meals. This program allows schools with high numbers of low-income children to serve breakfast and lunch to all students at no charge, regardless of family income.
“Well-nourished children are more focused and better able to learn,” State Superintendent Randy Dorn said. “This new program helps our state educate kids.”
Community Eligibility does not require households to fill out the applications typically associated with free and reduced-price meals. Instead, it relies on information gathered from other programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the Temporary Assistance Program for Needy Families.
Piloted in 11 states last year, Community Eligibility is in practice nationwide this school year. In Washington, 119 schools participate.
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K–12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Randy Dorn, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine educational service districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students.
OSPI provides equal access to all programs and services without discrimination based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Questions and complaints of alleged discrimination should be directed to the Equity and Civil Rights Director at (360) 725-6162 or P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200.
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The OSPI Communications Office serves as the central point of contact for local, regional and national media covering K-12 education issues.