TCSD meets standards to qualify for the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), which allows school districts located in low-income areas to provide free breakfast and lunch to all students
All students attending Taft City schools will be able to get free breakfast and lunches thanks to a change in the the District's policy for the National School Lunch / School Breakfast Programs for the 2018-19 school year.
District Superintendent Julie Graves said that because so many students in the District qualify for free or reduced meals, it meets standards to qualify for the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), which allows school districts located in low-income areas to provide free breakfast and lunch to all students.
"Taft City has two schools in particular (Conley and Jefferson), that have over 90% free and reduced eligible students," explained Interim Director of Food Services Roy Rico. "However, after we calculated the total number of students in the district that are categorically eligible, the district was able extend the benefit of offering free meals to all the students in the district."
It simplifies the program for everyone. There are no more applications needed from families to get free lunches and breakfasts for their children since the entire District now qualifies.
Rico pointed out other advantages as well:
•Parents/guardians are no longer required to pay for student's breakfast and lunch.
•It eliminates the burden for the district to collect household applications, however, a simply income survey will still need to be completed by some households for other programs.
•All students will have access to free meals with no stigma.
•Meal service lines will move faster, allowing students more time to consume their meal.
•It will reduce paperwork and administrative costs; and no need to track unpaid meal charges.
•Student meal participation will increase, resulting in more nourished students ready to learn and grow.