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MCSD to serve free meals to all students

Aug. 30, 2017 

Beginning on Sept. 7, 2017, the Monticello Central School District will serve free meals – both lunch and breakfast – to all students, regardless of their family’s income status through the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP).

The CEP was introduced to the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2010. The provision enables qualifying schools to serve breakfast and lunch at no cost to all students.

Parents do not need to take any action for their children to participate. Each student will receive one breakfast and one lunch meal per day. Students may choose to purchase additional meals and snacks or may opt to bring their own lunch.

“Students who are focused on their empty bellies aren’t focused on learning,” Superintendent Tammy Mangus said. “We’re pleased to be able to remove any barriers standing between a child and a nutritious breakfast and lunch through the CEP.”

This program is one of several that Monticello is able to offer through state and federal funding, at no expense to tax payers. Others include the before and after-school programs, iPads, internet/phone services and pre-K. Our eligibility for many of these programs is partially based upon the district’s poverty index. Previously, the district had used the percentage of students eligible for free and reduced lunch as part of this calculation; however, because the CEP eliminates the need for applicants, the district must calculate this percentage in alternate ways in order to determine an accurate eligibility for grant and other funding opportunities.

Each Monticello student will receive an “income proxy form” on the first day of school. This is a confidential form that will enable the district to determine its poverty percentage. The district’s goal is that each and every Monticello parent will return the form by Sept. 8, regardless of income level.

Your cooperation in helping the district continue to provide opportunities for its students at no cost to the taxpayers is appreciated.