ELIZABETHTOWN — For the fourth year Bladen County Schools is offering no cost meals to its students. The district is part of the Community Eligibility provision program whereby all students in Bladen County Schools, regardless of household income levels, eat breakfast and lunch at no cost.
The Community Eligibility Provision is a non-pricing meal service option for schools and school districts in low-income areas. CEP allows the nation’s highest poverty schools and districts to serve breakfast and lunch at no cost to all enrolled students without collecting household applications. Instead, schools that adopt CEP are reimbursed using a formula based on the percentage of students categorically eligible for free meals based on their participation in other specific means-tested programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
Additionally, seven primary schools in Bladen County are participating in the USDA Fresh Fruits and Veggie program for the eighth year in a row. Bladen Lakes Primary, Bladenboro Primary, Booker T. Washington Primary, Dublin Primary, East Arcadia School, Elizabethtown Primary and Plain View Primary will offer the FFVP three days a week to students during snack time.
The goal of the FFVP is to improve children’s overall diet and create healthier eating habits to impact their present and future health. The FFVP will help schools create healthier school environments by providing healthier food choices; expanding the variety of fruits and vegetables children experience; and increasing children’s fruit and vegetable consumption.
Valerie Newton is the public relations and information officer for Bladen County Schools.