Food Service

Glen Teager
Finance Officer

Starting this fall, every school in the Rowan County School District, from the preschool to the high school, will be offering free breakfasts and lunches to every student.   In 2014, the Rowan County School Board initially approved the Rowan County School District’s participation in the Community Eligibility Provision, which is part of the National School Lunch Program.  At that time, the free meals were only allowed to be offered at the Rowan County Preschool Center, the district’s four elementary schools and the Bluegrass Discovery Academy.  At its regular meeting in June 2016, the Rowan County approved adding both Rowan County Middle School and Rowan County Senior High School.

 “Since we began offering free meals to our students at the preschool, the elementary schools and at BDA, we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of students participating in the free meal program.  When the Board members looked at the numbers, they were convinced that it would be financially feasible to include both the middle school and the high school in the Community Eligibility Provision,” said Glen Teager, director of the Rowan County Schools Food Service Program. 

The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), a key provision in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, allows schools that serve predominantly low-income children to offer free meals.  To qualify for the program, a school must have at least 40% of its students whose families qualify for either Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF.)

To participate in the program, the Rowan County School Board approved making a 3-year financial commitment to participate in the Community Eligibility Provision.  The district receives federal reimbursement for the cost of lunches provided to students who qualify for the Free and Reduced Lunch program. 

The meals served at the qualifying schools will continue to meet all federal nutrition guidelines, which include fresh vegetables, fruits and reduced fat milk products.  Extra or a la carte meal items cannot be charged and all outstanding balances will be carried forward.

Speaking of the benefits of the district’s participation in the Community Eligibility Provision, Supt. Marvin Moore said, “This program has had and, I believe, will continue to have a direct benefit on students in the classroom because teachers know that students who are hungry or have not had breakfast have difficulty concentrating on their schoolwork.  It will also benefit those parents who, in the past, have struggled to provide the money for their child’s meals.  The Community Eligibility Provision definitely is a win for our students, for their parents, and for our district as a whole.”

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