Hartford Public Schools Will Provide Free Meals to All Students

Beginning with the first day of classes tomorrow, Tuesday, August 25, every student attending a Hartford Public School – regardless of residence or family income – will be offered free breakfast and free lunch every school day.
The first-time-ever offer was made possible thanks to a regulatory change for school districts in high poverty areas that participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs.
“I’m thrilled,” said Superintendent Beth Schiavino-Narvaez. “We know kids can’t focus on learning if they are hungry. Now we can ensure that all of our students will get nutritious meals without the burden of paperwork and eligibility requirements, which sometimes get in the way of students accessing school meal programs.”
The regulatory change, known as the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), gives eligible school districts the option of skipping the task of processing free and reduced meal applications based on family income and simply feeding all students.
Last year, 35 Hartford Public Schools – mostly neighborhood schools – were eligible to participate in CEP. But, improvements in the state and federal electronic reporting system for determining the number of families at poverty level made it possible to expand CEP to the 13 magnet schools that were not eligible.
Those schools are: Breakthrough Magnet, Capital Preparatory Magnet School, Capital Community College Magnet Academy, Classical Magnet, Annie Fisher Montessori School, Annie Fisher STEM Magnet School, Great Path Academy, Hartford Pk Magnet, Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy, Moylan Montessori Magnet School, Pathways Academy of Technology and Design, University High School of Science and Engineering, and the Noah Webster MicroSociety Magnet School.
“CEP eliminates the need to collect funds and worry about what to do on those many occasions when a student doesn’t have enough money for a meal, but doesn’t qualify for a free meal,” said Lonnie Burt, the district’s Director of Food and Child Nutritional Services. “It allows our food services staff to concentrate on what’s important – nutrition!”
To see more about food and nutrition at HPS, click here.

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