By: Breanna Derrick/Junior Writer
Summer of 2019 marked the beginning of a journey to get free lunches for four years by the Blue Ridge School District, and state to start the C.E.P. (Community Eligibility Program) that the Blue Ridge School District Food Service Department would be beginning. Linda Cole-Koloski Food Service Manager at Blue Ridge, worked very hard to get this approved. There was a lot involved in making this happen. She went from the first person, to asking the board, and then to the state after approval from the board. This program started on January 4th. Even though the C.E.P. has been approved by everyone, the school isn’t using it until a program extended from USDA program is over.
The USDA program is a wager that’s been extended to all schools that use their program over the summer to allow schools to continue serving meals to students the same way they would during the school year, it would just be in the summer. This programs has created multiple benefits such as helping accommodate take-out meals along with increasing avenue for Lunch Ladies.
The USDA program might not have extended it’s wager if Covid-19 hadn’t happened, meaning that C.E.P. would be in action. The C.E.P. is a Provision of Healthy, Hungry-Free Kids Act of 2010. It allows schools with high poverty rates to provide free breakfast and lunch to ALL students over summer, and now during the school year. C.E.P. is a four year program meaning that it students at Blue Ridge School District will eat for free without worry for the next four years.
” I am very excited and very happy about it, it means a lot to me that we can do this now, especially with everything going on” says Linda Cole-Koloski.
So for the next four years at least if you are having toruble providing food for yourself at hom you can always turn to the school about it all.