Tribune-Courier General Manager
For students in two Marshall County schools there really is such a thing as a free lunch and breakfast too, for that matter.
All students in Jonathan and South Marshall Elementary schools, regardless of income, will get a free breakfast and lunch every day beginning this fall.
The announcement came from Beth Cunningham, child nutrition director for Marshall County Schools.
The schools are participating in the Community Eligibility Option program, part of President Obama’s Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.
The program provides free meals to all students in schools in which 40 percent or more of the student’s families receive assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program.
Jonathan and South Marshall students exceed the 40 percent threshold, according to Marshall County Schools Superintendent Trent Lovett.
The program will be in place for one year and will then be re-evaluated, according to Lovett.
The Community Eligibility Option program allows schools to eliminate the use of applications for free meals. Under this option, schools use data already available to determine the amount of reimbursement they can receive from the USDA.
The current cost for breakfast in Marshall County elementary schools is $1. Lunch is $1.75.
Other school systems in the region have already been participating in the Community Eligibility Option. All schools in the Paducah City and Mayfield Independent systems had implemented the program previously.