All JCPS students now eligible for free breakfast, lunch

(WAVE News)
Published: Aug. 28, 2023 at 9:45 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Jefferson County Public Schools provided an update on free meals.

Every JCPS student is now eligible for free breakfast and lunch, regardless of their family’s income. This is because the Community Eligibility program has been extended to three additional schools, which brings a total of 147 cafeterias serving every school.

“We are excited to bring this benefit to all of our students and families,” Assistant Director of Nutrition Services said. “Now every JCPS student, in every school, has access to a nutritious breakfast and lunch no matter their financial circumstances.”

The J. Graham Brown School, Lowe Elementary School and duPont Manual High School were the final three schools to receive approval.

Many students also use a meal account or cash to buy à la carte items like extra slices of pizza and qualifying Smart Snacks, according to a release. Students who bring their lunch can also go through the cafeteria line and get a reimbursable meal at no charge.

JCPS said having every child in a school eligible removes any stigma from the student receiving a free meal while a classmate is paying for one.

The release states a school district’s participation in the United States Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility program is based on the number of its students who are directly certified for free or reduced-price meal benefits, and more than 65% of all JCPS students meet those guidelines.