The School District of Philadelphia (SDP) announced today that all Philadelphia public school students are now eligible to receive free school meals. Families will no longer need to complete applications to determine eligibility. All students in the SDP can receive free breakfast and lunch starting this fall, according to the announcement.
The new School Breakfast and Lunch program requirements have been introduced as the District’s Division of Food Services transitions to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) for the 2014-15 school year. The new benefits will “include better access to school meals by easing the strain on household budgets, reducing the paperwork burden on families and eliminating the stigma associated with the free lunch program,” the announcement reads.
“Our goal is to provide as many students as possible with access to healthy, nutritious meals,” Dr. William R. Hite, Superintendent, said in a statement. “We want to keep students’ focus on learning, not hunger.”