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The Journal Gazette

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Tuesday, May 22, 2018 9:08 am

Verbatim: FWCS to Expand No-Cost Meals to All FWCS Students

The following was released on Tues. May 22, 2018 by Fort Wayne Community Schools:

Fort Wayne Community Schools will expand its no-cost meals to all FWCS students beginning in the 2018-19 school year under a plan approved by the FWCS Board of School Trustees on Monday, May 21. No-cost meals have been provided to elementary and middle school students since 2014 and will now be available to high school students, as well.

All students will be able to eat breakfast and lunch at no cost daily. A la carte items will still be available for purchase in middle and high schools, and students wishing to purchase extra milk will be able to continue paying for it through their prepaid meal account or with cash.

This benefit is available to families as part of the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to the National School Lunch Program. FWCS is eligible to participate because more than 40 percent of students are directly certified by the state for benefits, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and/or Medicaid. As of May 1, nearly 52 percent of FWCS students were directly certified to qualify for free meals.

"This is a great benefit to all of our families, who often spend hundreds of dollars each year on school meals," Superintendent Dr. Wendy Robinson said. "For many students, the meals they receive at school are the most nutritious - and sometimes the only - meals they eat. This ensures our students will have the opportunity to focus on school work during the day without being hungry."

Families still need to apply for free textbooks, if eligible. Information on this process will be sent to families in July.