90% of schools in Pitt County qualify for free school lunches
PITT COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - Over 11,000 meals are served every day in one school district here in the East, and now many of those will be eaten at little to no cost.
Students in Pitt County will now have access to completely free breakfast and lunch, five days a week, in more than 90% of the schools in the district.
Thirty-five schools in Pitt County are now able to offer free lunches made possible through Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), something that will save families hundreds of dollars a year.
“If they eat every day it’s going to be like $450 for a student and then you’ve got breakfast at $1.25 and that’s $225 so if you eat with us all meals you’re looking at around $700 that you’re going to save,” Pitt County Schools Nutrition Director Gretchen Wilson said.
For parents, this will allow them to take a huge sigh of relief, eliminating a big financial burden when it comes to feeding their kids.
“I’ve been a single working mother and it has been challenging getting meals together so good for Pitt County schools I appreciate it, I’ve got little ones, cousins, in school that will capitalize on it” Katina Harris, a Pitt County parent said.
All students were able to eat free during the Covid-19 pandemic, and last year 25 schools in Pitt County were eligible. Now 10 more are able to offer free meals to their students.
“I’m looking forward to this I think it’s going to help out. We’ve got a lot of families that just missed the threshold with the money amount for free or reduced category so I’m excited that we’re able to offer this to the rest of the students in Pitt County” Wilson said.
Students at Chicod, Hope Middle School, and D.H Conley High School will have to pay for both breakfast and lunch unless families qualify for free or reduced meals.
Applications for free or reduced meals will be available in mid-late July.
Lenoir County Schools has also been able to offer free lunches because of Community Eligibility Provision to all schools in the district since 2014, and Beaufort County schools have been approved to offer free meals for the 2023-2024 school year, and the next four years after that.
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