LUBBOCK, Texas – Lubbock ISD has expanded free breakfast and lunch to six more of its campuses through the Community Eligibility Provisions (CEP) program.
CEP was established through the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, passed by Congress in 2014. School districts or “local education agencies” are eligible for CEP if at least 40% of enrolled students on a campus are either SNAP recipients, considered homeless, and migrant or foster children.
“It reduces the stigma of knowing who gets a free meal,” says Lori Johnson, Director of Child Nutrition for Lubbock ISD. “We can’t overtly identify anybody on a campus because they’re all eligible for a free meal.
Johnson also said CEP helps feed students in a county where the food insecurity rate is 23 percent.
“It’s not that they are not having any food at home, its that they’re not sure where their next meal may come from,” Johnson said.
CEP is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. School districts cover costs with monthly federal reimbursements.
Johnson believes the program makes things a little easier for Lubbock-area families.
“They don’t have to worry about putting money on an account or making ends meet,” Johnson said. “The holidays come, families have extra expenses, people’s economic situation change.”
Roscoe Wilson Elementary, Irons Middle School, and Talkington School for Young Women Leaders are not eligible for CEP.