Ulster County School Giving All Students FREE Meals This Year
Do you think all schools in the Hudson Valley should start offering this program?
As the 2023/24 school gets underway all across the Hudson Valley, many parents are now tasked with having to make sure their children have breakfast and lunch every day. For some, it may not seem like a big deal but for some families, it is an extremely stressful and expensive thing to worry about every day.
FREE Breakfast and lunch for All Students at Ulster County School
The Rondout Valley Central School District has just announced that they will now be able to provide ALL students in ALL schools within the district breakfast and lunch at no cost to families. The FREE meal program has been granted to Rondout Valley School District through the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP). The CEP designation was granted to Rondout Valley by the New York State Education Department and will be in effect at the start of the 2023-2024 school year according to the district's website.
Rondout Valley Superintendent Dr. Joseph Morgan stressed the importance of this funding saying,
"This program ensures that all children can receive the benefits of a nutritious meal every day. Studies have shown that school meals are critical to students' well-being and readiness to learn, and we are thrilled to offer this to Rondout Valley students."
Community Eligibility Provision in New York
The FREE meal program will provide one breakfast meal and one lunch meal for every one of the 1600+ students at every school within the district. Students who would like to purchase any additional meals at school can do so at the following prices:
$1.75 for Breakfast at all schools
$2.75 for lunch at elementary schools
$3.25 for lunch at intermediate, junior high, and high schools
Why are Meals Free?
In previous years only certain families qualified for free meals at Rondout Valley Schools through New York State but due to a "new funding provision" in this year's NY State budget, Rondout Valley is now included in this program. Even though meals are free this year the school district is still asking families to fill out and send back the free and reduced meal application, which you can find on the district's website. Families that fill out applications can provide additional benefits for students and families, including discounts on home internet costs, academic testing, college applications, and more. Completion of applications also will help the school district receive future State funding.