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KCKPS to Provide Free Meals to Early Childhood and Elementary Students

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 31, 2015

Contact: Josh Mathiasmeier, director of nutritional services, (913) 627-3914

On September 1, the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools (KCKPS) will begin providing free breakfast and lunch to all early childhood and elementary students. The district is participating in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), a program of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 that allows schools with high poverty rates to provide free breakfast and lunch to students.

Josh Mathiasmeier, director of Nutritional Services, said the program will impact approximately 13,000 students in the district at all elementary schools, early childhood centers and the Bridges program. At this time, secondary schools do not qualify for the program, but Mathiasmeier said his department will continue to monitor those schools.

“As we continue to look at our district as a whole, it would be our goal to go districtwide with this program in the future,” he said. “We want to feed as many students as we can because we know that nutrition and learning go hand in hand.”

CEP eliminates the burden of collecting household applications to determine eligibility for school meals. It also eliminates barriers to good nutrition at school and can enhance participation in school meals programs. In fact, it is expected that participation in the school breakfast and lunch programs will grow as a result of the district’s adoption of the CEP. Mathiasmeier has estimated a 7 percent increase in the school breakfast program (which is about 853 students) and a 3.5 percent increase in the school lunch program (which adds up to about 426 students).

KCKPS receives reimbursement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for its school meals program.

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Melissa Fears • Communications Office
2010 N. 59th Street • Kansas City, KS 66104 • 913-279-2242