WCHCS to provide free breakfast, lunch to all students next school year


WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE — Next school year, all students at Washington Court House City Schools will eat for free.

At a recent school board meeting, the WCHCS Board of Education unanimously voted to implement the USDA’s Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) program for the 2024-25 school year, providing free breakfast and lunch to all Blue Lions, regardless of their socioeconomic status, according to a news release.

“This decision underscores the district’s continued commitment to ensuring that all students have access to nutritious meals,” the release states. “By eliminating the financial barrier, the district aims to promote a healthier and more inclusive learning environment where every student can thrive.”

Under the CEP program, all students enrolled at WCHCS will automatically qualify for free breakfast and lunch. This initiative not only simplifies the process for families but also eliminates the stigma sometimes associated with receiving free or reduced-price meals.

WCHCS Superintendent Dr. Tom Bailey expressed enthusiasm about the district’s new initiative, saying, “Ensuring that our students have access to nutritious meals is essential for their overall well-being and academic success. By offering free breakfast and lunch to all Blue Lions, we are removing barriers and fostering an environment where every child can focus on learning and reaching their full potential.”

The decision to implement the CEP program follows consideration by the district’s administration and school board, with a focus on equity and the best interests of the student body, while maintaining a commitment to fiscal responsibility for the taxpayers, according to the release.

Schools participating in CEP are reimbursed based on the percentage of students categorically eligible for free meals through specific means-tested programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), as explained by the USDA.

“This initiative marks another significant step by WCHCS in addressing child hunger in the community,” the release states. “Through their efforts with the Big Blue Bus, the district has been serving free breakfast and lunch through the USDA’s summer food service program since 2019. Since its inception, the program has provided over half a million free meals to children across Fayette County.”

For more information, visit the district’s website at wchcs.org.

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