Free lunch policy


Hannah Goodman

Corbin Reardon, Staff Reporter

All district schools now provide free breakfast and lunch to their students

free-lunchBy Corbin Reardon/Staff Reporter

All students in the Ferguson-Florissant School District are now able to receive breakfast and lunch for no charge, as part of the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) program run by the US Department of Agriculture. The district is joining the area schools of St. Louis Public Schools and Riverview Gardens who are also participating in the program with a larger community of 4,000 schools across the nation.

This program, combined with the recently passed Prop S, will reduce the already heavy economic load that is on the school district, helping to decrease the school’s deficit of $7 million dollars.

“[The free lunch program] will reduce administrative costs and paperwork for the district,” said the district’s Chief Financial Officer Laura Modrusic in an email to district staff.

Despite decreasing the administrative paperwork, it will be increasing the load on the kitchen staff, which is visible according to some students. This load however won’t change the way the kitchen operates according to Food Service Director Scott Williams and Café Director Barb Stenberg.

“[Free lunches] just means we have to make more food,” Stenberg said.

This does not affect the balance on your lunch account that has been added this year or was transferred over from last year. Not everything is covered under this program though; it only covers one individual breakfast and lunch. All other food items must be paid for and are not free.

“Any money on their account they can still use, not everything is free:: chips, cookies, and stuff like that they still have to pay for,” Ms. Stenberg said.

The purpose of implementing this new program is to provide meals to those who in prior school years would not  have had access to meals due to financial difficulties. CEP removes the stigma from receiving free or reduced lunch and decreases the need for money exchange in the cafeteria, making the lines easier to manage for the cashier and simpler for the student, while creating a better environment in the school.

“We want to make sure all students have access to the same nutritious options at school regardless of [their family’s] financial situation,” Mr. Williams said.