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Denton ISD to Provide Free Breakfast, Lunch to All Students at 10 Campuses Through Federal Program

Denton ISD has been approved for a federal program that will provide free breakfast and lunch for all students – regardless of their eligibility for free and reduced lunch – at 10 campuses across the district.

“Ensuring all students have the ability to eat is vital,” said Liz Raftery, Director of Child Nutrition. “Participating in this program allows Denton ISD to feed more students while eliminating barriers to access to meals. This support will also have a ripple effect by positively impacting student attendance and participation at breakfast and lunch."

The program, known as the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), enables eligible schools to provide free breakfast and lunch to all students at no cost based on each campus’ identified student percentage (ISP). The ISP eligibility percentage includes students enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Medicaid. Schools must have an ISP percentage of 25 percent to qualify.

The 10 campuses that are eligible for the CEP to provide free breakfast and lunch to all students include:

Ann Windle School for Young Children
Gonzalez School for Young Children
Alexander Elementary
Borman Elementary
Evers Park Elementary
Ginnings Elementary
Hodge Elementary
Rivera Elementary
Stephens Elementary
Davis School

Students at eligible campuses will not have to complete a free and reduced meal application in order to receive free meals. However, if a family has students at multiple Denton ISD schools, students at campuses not eligible for the CEP still must apply for free and reduced lunch to receive service.

In addition to being able to provide free meals for all students, the CEP will also eliminate unpaid meal balances at all 10 eligible campuses. Eliminating these unpaid balances will save Denton ISD approximately $40,000.

The CEP will also provide families with an average savings of $774 per child by providing free breakfast and lunch. Participation in the CEP does not impact Title I funding at any of the eligible campuses.

“We see that many families are struggling with food insecurity,” Ms. Raftery said. “The CEP program will have a positive impact on families by helping to reduce financial stress and ensuring all students have access to nutritious meals without worry of unpaid meal balances.”