Marshall ISD will be offering free breakfast and lunch to all students in the 2019-20 school year due to the district’s participation in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) Community Eligibility Provision (CEP).

The CEP provides an alternative to household applications for free and reduced price meals for economically disadvantaged students in local educational agencies and schools.

Sites that elect this option agree to serve all students free breakfast and lunch for four successive school years and claim the meals based on a percentage of identified students multiplied by a United States Department of Agriculture-defined multiplier factor.

Districts or schools that have an Identified Student Percentage (ISP) of 40 percent or greater are eligible for the program. As a district, MISD’s ISP was 63.6 percent, well over the 40 percent required to participate in the program.

“This program will allow MISD students to eat both breakfast and lunch free of charge,” said Cindy Brandon, MISD Director of Child Nutrition. “Students will continue to use their current method of identification at the point of sales in the lunch lines, but all meals will be free to all students.”

In the past, MISD charged for both breakfast and lunch, although for the past several years, breakfast has been made available free of charge to students in Pre-K through 5th grade.

Under the old program, students were eligible for free or reduced-price meals if a household’s income was within the limits described in the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines. Reduced-price meals under this program were $0.30 for breakfast and $0.40 for lunch.

The new program will make all meals served free of charge to all students beginning with the upcoming school year.

MISD will be 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. Marshall ISD joins other area districts who are either joining the program or who have already been participating, including Longview ISD, Lufkin ISD and Nacogdoches ISD.