Free breakfast and lunch for all public school students, all year


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.

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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.