August 20, 2015 – Bennington, Vermont – Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union is slated to implement the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) for Free Meal Reimbursement in School Year 2015-2016. Through CEP,a school district, a group of schools or a single school may offer meals at no charge to all students.
“We have been looking at the program for a couple of years and are now grateful that all the public schools within the SVSU qualify to participate in the CEP program. Now every student can get a complete, nutritious and reimbursable breakfast and lunch approved by the program for free, regardless of income. No child should have to go hungry and now they won’t have to,” says Maureen O’Neil, Southern Vermont Food Service Director from the Abbey Group.
The Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 includes the implementation of CEP to insure districts can participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP). To qualify, a district or school must have 40 percent or more of its students eligible for free meals based on direct certification. The SVSU, across all its public schools, qualifies at a rate of 50.15%.
“Finally, the math makes sense. The entire SVSU community benefits from our participation in CEP. All families qualify for free meals. A family of four who paid for breakfast and lunch last year can experience a savings of $1,200 this year. That is money families can use to relieve pressure off their personal finances or increase their purchasing power in our local economy. It truly is a win-win for everyone.” says SVSU Chief Financial Officer, Richard C. Pembroke, Jr., SFO.
CEP has been available to the entire country since the 2014-2015 School Year.
“The potential of the CEP program is truly exciting,” says SVSU Superintendent, James R. Culkeen. “Schools already participating have reported an increase in student attentiveness, fewer reports of student hunger, fewer disciplinary referrals and fewer visits to the school nurse. All of these elements make a great recipe for student success and enables them to perform at their best.”
Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union (SVSU) is one of the largest supervisory unions in the state of Vermont servicing over 2900 PreK-12th grade students from five towns in southern Bennington County. The SVSU provides and supports equal educational opportunities for all students and is an equal opportunity provider of USDA Child Nutrition Programs. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
© 2015 Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union (www.svsu.org) (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Southwest-Vermont-Supervisory-Union/134132276636970)
Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union
James R. Culkeen, Superintendent
“Striving for Excellence, Imagine the Possibilities”