CCSD to continue providing free meals for students through 2025

By: - October 12, 2021 12:27 pm
cafeteria lunch line

As of June 30, 75% of students enrolled in CCSD qualified for free or reduced-price meals, according to the district. That represents a 6.3% increase since pre-pandemic. (Photo credit: CCSD)

Clark County School District on Thursday announced it will continue providing free meals to all of its students through the 2024-25 school year.

CCSD is already offering free breakfast and lunch to all students this current school year, thanks to federal nutrition programs that were temporarily expanded by pandemic relief legislation. Thursday’s announcement essentially means parents and caregivers will be able to rely on free school meals for their children during the next four school years.

The universal free meals are part of an expanded Community Eligibility Provision, a federal program that allows the highest poverty schools and districts in the country to provide free meals to families without collecting eligibility applications from individual households.

CCSD had been moving toward expanding free meal service as part of the Community Eligibility Provision even before the onset of the pandemic. More than 290 schools already took part.

As of June 30, 75% of students enrolled in CCSD qualified for free or reduced-price meals, according to the district. That represents a 6.3% increase since pre-pandemic.

Eligibility for free or reduced-price meals is primarily determined by household income level. Families within 130% of the federal poverty line qualify for free meals. Those within 185% qualify for reduced-price lunch.

For example, using current federal guidelines, children in a family of four would be eligible for free lunch if their annual household income was $34,450 or less. They would qualify for reduced price lunch if the annual household income was $49,025 or less.

The Community Eligibility Provision instead relies on eligibility data collected through other income-restricted public programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

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April Corbin Girnus
April Corbin Girnus

April Corbin Girnus is an award-winning journalist with a decade of media experience. She has been a beat writer at Las Vegas Sun, a staff writer at LEO Weekly, web editor of Las Vegas Weekly and a blogger documenting North American bike share systems’ efforts to increase ridership in underserved communities. An occasional adjunct journalism professor, April steadfastly rejects the notion that journalism is a worthless major. Amid the Great Recession, she earned a B.A. in journalism from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, where she served as editor-in-chief of the student newspaper. She later earned an M.A. in media studies and a graduate certificate in media management from The New School for Public Engagement. A stickler about municipal boundary lines, April enjoys teaching people about unincorporated Clark County. She grew up in Sunrise Manor and currently resides in Paradise with her husband, two children and two mutts.