Free meals for all Orange County students this school year

Students across all Orange County Public Schools will receive all school meals for free during the upcoming school year.

On Monday, OCPS announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved its Community Eligibility Provision application, extending all meals at no charge to all students.

Authorized by Congress in 2010 as part of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, CEP aims to provide no-cost meals to students in eligible schools. The program eliminates the need to collect household applications to determine eligibility for the free and reduced school meals program.

“When all students have easy access to healthy school meals, meal participation tends to increase, and more children can experience nutritional benefits that fuel their learning, growth, and development,” reads a statement issued by OCPS.

CEP is a reimbursement alternative for eligible local educational agencies and schools participating in both the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program.

This summer, libraries across the county partnered with the district to provide free lunches to local students.

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