Indiana

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IPS Will Offer Universal Free Lunch And Breakfast For Students

IPS will offer free lunch for all students through a new federal program.

IPS will offer free lunch for all students through a new federal program.

Indianapolis Public Schools officials approved a plan to grant universal free breakfast and lunch across the entire district at last night’s school board meeting.

Free meals will begin this fall and are part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) of the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010.

The district has agreed to serve all students in designated schools free breakfast and lunch for up to four successive school years.

Eric Weddle of the Indianapolis Star reports on how the school district qualified for the program:

For a school to be eligible, at least 40 percent of its students must qualify for free meals. A grant covers the meal costs of students who don’t meet the requirements for free meals. Under the program, families are not required to fill out applications.

This year, 77 percent of the 30,800 IPS students qualified for free meals based on their family income. Just 18 percent of students, or 5,500, are required to pay.

Superintendent Lewis Ferebee said by ensuring all students are fed and have basic needs met, more effective learning will happen.

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