Hancock schools to provide meals to students at no cost

NEW CUMBERLAND — Students in Hancock County will have the opportunity to eat breakfast and lunch at school at no cost through a program called the Community Eligibility Provision, according to school officials.

The CEP was enacted as a result of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act and provides universal meal service to children in high-poverty areas. This is the fourth year for the option.

The CEP serves as an alternative to collecting, approving and verifying household eligibility applications for free- and reduced-price eligible students in high-poverty Local Education Agencies. If at least 40 percent of a school’s students are directly certified for free meal benefits, the entire school qualifies for the option, officials said.

“I am proud that Hancock County Schools will be participating in the CEP program to help meet a crucial need for many students in our county,” said Timothy Woodward, superintendent of Hancock County Schools.

Hancock County expects to have seven schools participate in the CEP. Both high schools and middle schools, as well as all three county elementary schools will take part, meaning nearly 4,200 students will be fed each day.

For information, contact the Office of Child Nutrition, Hancock County Schools at (304) 748-6870.