Districts offer students free meals

Published 9:44 am Thursday, August 20, 2015

Saving money is something just about everyone wants to do, and beginning at the start of this school year, families of students at three local school districts will be able to do that.

Free breakfast and lunches will now be provided at all South Point, Rock Hill and Symmes Valley local schools through the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) providing National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs.

“Due to the count of economically disadvantaged students, we were able to get this particular provision,” Mark Christian, superintendent of South Point schools, said. “This year we were much closer to being under the threshold to qualify, so we dug into it, we qualified and decided to go for it.”

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This is also the first year Rock Hill schools will be able to provide free breakfast and lunches to all of its students.

“It’s a great program for our students to be provided with free breakfast and lunch every day,” Wes Hairston ,superintendent of Rock Hill Schools said. “It’s good for the community and it will save the parents a lot of money. I’m proud to be able to offer it.”

Depending on the exact numbers of economically disadvantaged students in each district and other factors that go into determining the free breakfast and lunch programs, some schools may make money while others will break even.

“We (South Point) will lose money on the food side, but will get the same amount of money on the state funding side,” Christian said. “So we will end up breaking even.”

Rock Hill schools will gain money through the provision.

“In our situation we will see an increase in state funding,” Hairston said.

All Symmes Valley students will be eligible for free breakfast and lunch each day as well; Symmes Valley Superintendent Jeff Saunders was unavailable to comment by press time.

“Some people that didn’t qualify for free or reduced lunches before were still strapped for cash,” Christian said. “I’m really happy we can provide this.”