Paying for their children to eat breakfast or lunch will be one less worry for parents whose children attend one of 28 Bossier Parish schools, as well as those that qualify for reduced meals.
A half-dozen additional schools have met state criteria to become part of the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) program during the 2023-24 year that enables students to eat for free, regardless of household income. Those schools are: Benton, Stockwell Place and W.T. Lewis Elementary Schools and Airline, Haughton and Parkway High Schools.
All previously approved CEP schools in Bossier Parish were also renewed for the program, accounting for nearly 17,500 students altogether that will benefit from free meals once the new school year starts. A complete list of qualifying CEP schools in Bossier Parish can be found at https://bit.ly/3pZm8AO.
Additionally, nearly 230 students attending non-CEP schools that qualify for reduced meals will not be charged as a result of recent state legislation. It remains important, however, for families to apply for free and reduced lunch even if their child attends a CEP school in order to qualify for federal benefits such as the Electronic Benefit Transfer or EBT card. Applications are available here.
“When a child is hungry it is difficult to focus on learning,” said Karla Horton, Supervisor of Child Nutrition at Bossier Schools. “Every study points to the important role good nutrition plays in a student’s growth, development, learning and overall health. While it is our hope that one day free breakfast and lunch will become a reality for all children, this is a huge stride in the right direction.”