No-Cost Breakfast & Lunch for All K-12 Students
Community Eligibility Provision Public Release 2020-2021
The Ritenour School District is participating in a Free Breakfast and Lunch Program for the current school year (2020-2021). This alternative is referred to as the Community Eligibility Provision. All K-12 students enrolled may participate in the breakfast/lunch program at no charge. Household applications for free and reduced price meals will not be collected.
Studies have shown that children who are not hungry perform better in school. By providing breakfast/lunch to all children at no charge, we can create a better learning environment for our students.
The school breakfast and lunch that we serve follows U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines for healthy school meals. The Free Breakfast and Lunch Program cannot succeed without your support. Please encourage your children to participate in the school meal programs.
All meals will be served to all students at no charge.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Community Eligible Provision
What is the Community Eligibility Provision?
Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) is an alternative way to serve breakfast and lunch to all students in high poverty schools and/or school districts. The provision is through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Under this program, schools are required to offer breakfast and lunch. But, CEP allows the district to opt out of collecting household free and reduced meal applications from families. Therefore, students will no longer have different economic statuses for the meal program – all students will be equal. And, all meals will be served at no cost.
Why did Ritenour change from the Free- and Reduced-Price Lunch Program to CEP?
There are several advantages for a school nutrition program to operate under this provision.
- Offers all students breakfast and lunch at no cost
- Eliminates the risk of identifying students according to their parents’ household income.
- Improves nutrition for at-risk students
- Increases meal participation
- Eliminates unpaid meal fees
- Reduces paperwork at each school site and the Child Nutrition office, allowing all Child Nutrition staff to focus on feeding children
- Simplifies meal counting and claiming procedures.
What are the expected results of CEP in the Ritenour School District?
- All schools except for the School for Early Childhood Education will provide both breakfast and lunch to all students at no cost.
- Meal participation is expected to increase.
- Less time with paperwork means Child Nutrition staff will be able to increase their attention to developing menus and cooking meals that are nutritious and delicious.
- Families will not need to complete meal applications to receive meals at no cost.
How do I get a refund for any remaining money in my child’s meal account?
Our intent is to refund all money left on student meal accounts when the request is made to the Child Nutrition office by the parent or guardian. Call or email Deana Hill at (314) 493-6095 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Refunds checks are issued monthly from the Board of Education.
- A parent or guardian must provide a correct and current mailing address.
Can my child get individual or additional side (a la carte) items, drinks or entrée items for free, too?
No, students or adults purchasing single items, like milk or fresh fruit, will have to pay for them. Only one complete student breakfast and one complete student lunch per day will be available at no cost. For this reason, parents will want to make sure that there is money on their student’s account because a la carte purchases cannot be charged. They need to be paid for at the time of selection.
Adult and Ala Carte Pricing (During in-person learning days)
- Adult Breakfast: $2
- Adult Lunch: $3.25
- Breakfast Entrée: $1.25
- Elementary School Entrée: $1.75
- Middle School Entrée: $2
- High School Entrée: $2.15
- Chef Salad: $2.50
- 100% Juice 4oz: 40 cents
- Fruit, ½ cup: 60 cents
- Vegetable, ½ cup: 60 cents
- Grain/Dessert: 50 cents
- Milk (All flavors): 50 cents
- Elementary 2nd Lunch: $2.75
- Middle School 2nd Lunch: $2.90
- High School 2nd Lunch: $3.05
How do I put money on my student’s meal account?
The preferred method for putting money on a student’s meal account is through MySchoolBucks, our online payment system. Or, a parent can send in a check (payable to Ritenour School District) or cash. Please be sure the envelope is marked with child (children’s) name.
If students eat for free, why don’t Ritenour staff members eat for free, too?
It would be wonderful to provide meals to staff at no cost, however, the USDA only provides reimbursement for student meals. Therefore, staff may pay for their meals to cover the cost of food and labor involved in preparing and serving their meals. During the 2019-2020 school year, an adult breakfast costs $2 and an adult lunch costs $3.25.
Is the district getting reimbursed for all free meals or does the money come from the district funds?
The USDA reimburses Ritenour’s Child Nutrition Services for the cost of all student meals. With CEP, Ritenour’s Child Nutrition Services is opting out of parents paying for student meals.
How can the Child Nutrition Program afford to offer all meals at no cost?
School Nutrition Programs have three sources of revenue – federal, state and local funding. After careful consideration, Ritenour determined that our program could afford to provide meals at no cost to all students without a significant impact to our budget. Under CEP, Ritenour will no longer receive funds from parents (unless their child chooses additional drinks or a la carte items to their meal tray). The amount of Federal funds, however, will remain about the same as the 2016-2017 school year. This federal funding, coupled with an increase in meal participation, will mean our projected revenue at the end of the 2017-2018 school year under CEP will be about the same as the revenue from the 2016-2017 school year State revenue will not be impacted by CEP.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.