Created: Tue, 16 Jul 2013 09:55:00 EST
Updated: Tue, 16 Jul 2013 10:15:32 EST
Students at 10 schools in Houston County will be able to eat breakfast, lunch and a snack for free through a government program.
The Houston County Board of Education is implementing the Community Eligibility Option (CEO) for Free Meal Reimbursement, starting with the coming school year. Through the program, 10 schools will offer meals free of charge to all of their students.
Georgia is one of 11 states selected to implement the pilot program this year. CEO will be available to the entire country in the 2014-2015 school year.
The following schools will offer breakfast, lunch, and snack (if the school has an approved after school program) at no charge to the student: Centerville Elementary, Lindsey Elementary, Linwood Elementary, Miller Elementary, Northside Elementary, Northside Middle, Parkwood Elementary, Pearl Stephens Elementary, Russell Elementary and Westside Elementary.
“We are excited about the opportunity to reach more families through CEO," said Meredith Potter, director of nutrition for Houston County Schools. "Properly nourished children more actively participate in their educational experience, which benefits them, their fellow students, and the entire school community.”
To qualify, a school must have 40 percent or more students eligible for free meals based on direct certification. Children are considered directly certified if they live in households that participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR).
In addition, foster, homeless, runaway or migrant children are included in the directly certified category. Schools will be re-evaluated yearly to determine if they continue to meet the necessary criteria for the program.