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4 Scottsdale Schools qualify for ‘no-cost meals’ through National School and School Breakfast programs

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The new program at four SUSD schools begins in August, when school convenes for the 2024-25 academic year. (File Photos/DigitalFreePress)
New meal service option coming to Scottsdale Schools next school year
Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

Scottsdale Unified School District is offering a new meal service option at four schools next school year officials say will streamline the process for families to secure no-cost breakfasts and lunches for students.

Updates to the Community Eligibility Provision portion of the federal National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs will eliminate the need for Hohokam and Yavapai elementary, Tonalea Middle and Coronado High School families to apply and qualify their students for free meals, based on participation in specific, means-tested government assistance programs, according to a press release.

CEP is part of the federal Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, the release states.

The new program at the four SUSD schools begins in August, when school convenes for the 2024-25 academic year.

“We are thrilled to be able to add the CEP to the list of food service programs we offer,” said SUSD Nutrition Services Director Patti Bilbrey. “Implementing CEP at these four, qualifying school sites allows our students to have access to no-charge, high-quality, healthy breakfasts and lunches each and every day of the school year.”

A recent change by the Arizona Department of Education, allowing Medicaid participation to directly certify students, has made it possible for the four schools to now meet the CEP participation threshold.

Based on the new rules, all students at the four schools — approximately 2,000, based on current enrollment, district leaders report — will receive nutritious breakfasts and lunches each school day next school year, at no charge.

“We know that kids who aren’t hungry at school learn better,” Ms. Bilbrey said. “Making sure that they aren’t permits them to be full participants in their education. Every student, regardless of their family’s income, deserves a hunger-free education.”

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