Students in high-poverty schools across North Carolina are showing up to class each day with food in their stomach and ready to learn thanks to an initiative known as Community Eligibility. As part of the nationwide Community Eligibility Program (CEP), schools within 54 school systems across the state are providing breakfast and lunch to all students free of charge. Some districts have adopted CEP in all of their schools.
North Carolina is the fifth hungriest state in the country, so providing healthy school meals at no cost to students and families is especially important for children – particularly those in our most distressed communities. As North Carolina continue to face the challenges of persistent poverty and ensuring that all students are afforded a high-quality education, access to nutritious school meals serves as a positive step forward.
The initial rollout of CEP in North Carolina has been promising. Nearly half of all public schools eligible to participate in CEP adopted the initiative for the current school year, representing more than 310,000 students (Click here to see a list of CEP-eligible, participating schools). This is wonderful news! Only two states in the south – Tennessee and Georgia – have more students attending schools that are participating in CEP. Read More