Free meals available for Calcasieu students once again

Published 11:00 am Friday, July 29, 2022

By Emily Burleigh

American Press

Calcasieu Parish students will have the opportunity to eat breakfast and lunch for free at their respective schools this upcoming academic year.

After the devastation of Hurricane Laura, and subsequent approval of Disaster SNAP benefits, Calcasieu Parish students qualified for Community Eligibility Provision (CEP).

The CEP, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, is a non-pricing meal service option for schools and school districts in low-income areas. This program “allows schools and districts to serve breakfast and lunch at no cost to all enrolled students.”

According to Jacqueline Richard, Calcasieu Parish School Board’s School Nutrition Program Director, CPSB has provided free meals for the entire district starting in the 2020-2021 school year after the USDA approved COVID-19 waivers.

These school meals are federally funded through the USDA.

Parents do not need to submit any documentation for students to receive the free meals throughout the school year.

Richard assured that “all school meals and snacks are required to meet USDA nutritional requirements to ensure students are well fed and set up for success.”