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The South Sioux City Community School District is ready to tackle hunger this school year with free breakfast and lunch for all children in kindergarten through eighth grade.

All students, regardless of their economic status, will be able to participate thanks to the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) program. The CEP allows qualifying high-need schools to offer free breakfast and lunch to all students, providing the nutrition and energy children need to be healthy and ready to learn. CEP is a powerful tool that will assist in removing the stigma of the free and reduced price meal program of the past.

“We are really excited about this opportunity and hope that it has a positive impact on our students and their families and are hopeful that free lunch and breakfast will make our students’ lives easier,” stated Laura Dandurand, Covington Elementary principal.

The new program is an alternative approach in low-income areas that replaces the collection of individual applications for free and reduced price meals. The CEP allows schools that predominantly serve low-income children to offer free, nutritious school meals to all students through the National School Lunch Program.

“This program will allow all of our elementary and middle school students to focus on learning without being distracted by hunger or worry about the stigma of free or reduced lunch,” said Lance Swanson, Director of Communication and Foundation at SSC Schools.

The new CEP program will not be available at the South Sioux City High School because the percentage of identified students is not high enough to qualify at this time. High school students are encouraged to apply for free and reduced price meals. These applications are available on the district website (www.ssccardinals.org) and at the Registration Event on Aug. 7.

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