Euclid Schools to offer students free breakfast and lunch the entire school year

EUCLID, Ohio -- Euclid Schools will offer students free breakfast and lunch for the 2017-2018 school year.

The school district announced on Monday that all students in preschool through 12th grade will receive the free meals each school day for the entire year.

According to a press release from the district, "Every student, regardless of family income level, in every district school building will receive a healthy breakfast and lunch at no charge each day. Students will continue to receive the same high-quality meals provided by our Food Service Department."

“We know how important nutrition is to the overall health of the child and the overall wellness of students,” said Superintendent Charlie Smialek. “We’re really excited to be able to take advantage of this provision."

If students want something extra, they will be charged the a la carte price for the item, so students may continue to bring money to school to put on their account for those particular purchases.

The schools also said if a student wants an additional breakfast or lunch once the first is served, there will be an a la carte charge for the meal if the student has the money on his/her account.

With this new program in place, Euclid Schools said it will no longer provide credit for any food outside of the breakfast and lunch served each day for free.

**Read, below, for answers to the most-asked questions:

How is the district funding this program?

Missing meals and experiencing hunger impairs the development and achievement of children. We believe that no child should experience what it feels like to go hungry. A key element of the USDA Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 was the provision called the Community Eligibility Provision. This provision provides school districts in low-income areas an alternative approach for operating school meal programs.  Instead of collecting individual applications for free and reduced-price meals, the CEP allows districts that meet eligibility requirements to use information from other programs, including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Ohio Works First (OWF) to determine the level of Federal funding for the school meal programs. Food service can concentrate on the things we do best, making sure that our students receive a healthy breakfast and lunch, daily.

Will this program be available beyond the school year?

It is in place for the entire 2017-18 school year.  Its sustainability will be reviewed, by state and district personnel, annually.

Are a la carte items still available? How can my child pay for them?

A la carte items will still be available. Students may pay for these items using cash or money on their account using the mypaymentsplus.com online prepayment system. Credit is not allowed.

Do I still need to submit a Free and Reduced Lunch application?

No, those applications are no longer necessary.

I have a balance on my account from last year. What happens to that money?

The balance will remain in your child’s name. Money may be used for a la carte purchases.

I have a negative existing balance on my account. Do I still need to pay that?

The balance will remain in your child’s name. The negative balance is a debt owed to the food service department. They use these funds for operational  purposes. The negative balance has been referred to the district Finance Office.

I have more questions. Who can I contact?

For questions or more information on this new program, contact Director of Food Services George Ule at 216-797-2947 or email gule@euclidschools.org.

**More information on heading back to school in Euclid**