Local News

In Vermont, 19 percent of schools offer universal free lunch

By Tiffany Danitz Pache, VTDigger.org
More schools in Vermont are taking advantage of a federal program that offers free meals to all students in low-income areas.
In 2014, 29 schools in Vermont signed up with the “universal” meal program and began serving free breakfast and lunch to all students whether they qualified for free meals or not. Two years later, the number of schools participating has nearly doubled to 56, according to Marissa Parisi, executive director at Hunger Free Vermont.
Parisi said in all, 19 percent of Vermont’s schools and 15 percent of all Vermont students are using the program.
“We are psyched with the numbers,” Parisi said. Hunger Free Vermont and the Dartmouth Institute are monitoring the rollout of the program.
Only the poorest schools qualify for the universal meals program passed by Congress in 2010 known as the Community Eligibility Program (CEP). The voluntary program is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and it provides free breakfast and lunch to all students regardless of income at schools with high numbers of low-income pupils who qualify for the free lunch program.
Under the new program, local districts are reimbursed with federal dollars using a formula based on the percent of kids that already get food stamps

One comment on “In Vermont, 19 percent of schools offer universal free lunch

  1. Except it’s not realistic!!! It’s based off of gross income!! Half, sometimes more than half, of gross income is eaten up by taxes, health insurance, … when groceries are paid for with a credit card because it’s food or a roof over your head… it’s not realistic!

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