Guam – Parents will be relieved of one more expense this year: the cost of their children’s meals at school.
With school starting in less than a week, GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez went on Newstalk K57’s Mornings with Patti to talk about the Community Eligibility Provision. This schoolyear, the federal program would enable students at all 41 public schools to receive a free breakfast and lunch.
Fernandez says that with the island’s needs so high, the US Department of Agriculture has been increasing the number of schools covered by the CEP. Last year, five schools were not participating in the program.
Prior to this provision, only some students qualified for a free lunch, while others paid a reduced fee. The rest had to fork out cash to receive a meal. But now, with the addition of the 6,000 students from the final five schools added to the CEP, all public school kids will have two of their daily weekday meals covered.
Federal law requires USDA to feed a school’s entire student population when a certain percentage of students receive free or reduced meals. According to Fernandez, around 70-80% of our island’s public school children are unable to pay the full price of their school meals.