MCISD campus to receive free meals

Posted 8/20/19

Madisonville Consolidate Independent School District (MCISD) elementary and intermediate campuses have qualified to operate the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) program, which will provide free breakfast and lunch to all children and eliminate the collection of meal applications for free, reduced-price and paid student meals.

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MCISD campus to receive free meals

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Madisonville Consolidate Independent School District (MCISD) elementary and intermediate campuses have qualified to operate the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) program, which will provide free breakfast and lunch to all children and eliminate the collection of meal applications for free, reduced-price and paid student meals.

“Our children do not get to choose the circumstances in which they are brought up,” said MCISD Superintendent Keith Smith. “If we have an opportunity to meet some of their base needs, which is a free breakfast for all of our students and a free lunch for pre-K through fifth grade, then we are going to provide that. It is hard for a student to focus on math, English or science when they are hungry. You have to meet those base needs of food and shelter before you can really move forward academically.”

The district as a whole was already providing free breakfast for students who attend all campuses.

“After calculating the numbers, our elementary and intermediate campuses qualified for (CEP),” said Kelley Terry of MCISD’s Child Nutrition Department. “We did not have to raise lunch prices for junior high and high school, but it will be three dollars per meal at those campuses.”

Whole districts or campuses can apply for the program if 40 percent or more of their student body qualify as eligible.

“Each year, we are required to run a report to turn in and see what our numbers are,” said Terry. “It encompasses the total enrollment and number of identified student percentage (ISP) before coming up with a percentage. Currently, our elementary is at a 68 percent ISP and intermediate is at 57 percent.”

ISP represents the percentage of students who qualify based on income eligibility levels or households receiving the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR).

A child’s status as a foster child, homeless, runaway, migrant or displaced by a declared disaster as well as their enrollment in Head Start or Even Start also play a role in determining eligibility.

After the calculations were conducted and reviewed by the Child Nutrition Department, they are verified by officials at the Region 6 Education Service Center as well as the Texas Department of Agriculture.

While the junior high and high school campuses did not qualify for the program as a whole, households who individually qualified had the opportunity to apply for free or reduced lunches for the 2019-20 school year.

If a household member becomes unemployed or if the household size increases, the household should contact the school. Such changes may make the children of the household eligible for benefits if the household’s income falls at or below the current income eligibility guidelines.

For more information and specifics on the program, visit MCISD’s Child Nutrition Department page online.

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