Twenty-eight Muscogee County schools will offer free meals to all of their students -- without their parents or guardians having to fill out an application -- during the 2013-14 school year as part of a national pilot program.
The federal Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 includes the implementation of the Community Eligibility Option to ensure that every student in low-income neighborhoods can participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program. A school qualifies if it has 53 percent or more of its students eligible for free meals.
"Participation in CEO can help eliminate the need for meal applications and help reduce administrative and printing costs," Valerie Fuller, the Muscogee County School District's communications director, said in a news release Wednesday. "Families also benefit from the elimination of completing and submitting meal applications at the eligible schools."
Parents or guardians of children who attend schools not on the eligible schools list will need to complete a free or reduced-price meal application before the school year starts to determine eligibility.
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For more information, call the district's school nutrition office at 706-748-2386.ELIGIBLE SCHOOLS
The following Muscogee County schools will offer free meals to all of their students in 2013-14:
Cusseta Road Elementary
Forrest Road Elementary
Rigdon Road Elementary
South Columbus Elem.
St. Marys Elementary
Wesley Heights Elementary
Baker Middle School
East Columbus Middle