More than twenty Beaufort County School District schools will be offering free meals, both breakfasts and lunches, to all of their students during the 2023-24 school year.
According to a press release from the BCSD, the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), a federally funded initiative, serves schools with high percentages of students from low-income families, and more than 20 participating schools in Beaufort County this year are participating.
The participating Beaufort County Schools offering free meals are:
Academy for Career Excellence
Battery Creek High School
Beaufort Elementary School
Beaufort High School
Beaufort Middle School
Broad River Elementary School
Hilton Head Island Early Childhood Center
Hilton Head Island Middle School
Hilton Head Island School for Creative Arts and Daufuskie Island School
James J. Davis Early Childhood Center
Joseph Shanklin Elementary School
Lady’s Island Elementary School
Lady’s Island Middle School
Michael C. Riley Early Childhood Center
Michael C. Riley Elementary School
Mossy Oaks Elementary School
Port Royal Elementary School
Robert Smalls Leadership Academy
Red Cedar Elementary School
St. Helena Elementary School
Whale Branch Early College High School
Whale Branch Elementary School
Whale Branch Middle School
Other schools will continue to offer free and reduced-price lunches to students whose families apply and demonstrate financial need under the National School Lunch Program, through which the district serves free meals to more than 10,000 students and reduced-price lunches to about 1,300 more.
CEP, established in 2010, is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Schools are eligible to participate if more than 40 percent of their students are determined to be low-income. In the participating Beaufort County schools, the average poverty rate is 84 percent.
“There should be no cost to the district for the expanded services,” said district Chief Financial Officer Tonya Crosby. “This is a win-win for our students and the district.”
Parents or guardians who do not want their children to participate in the CEP program may contact Virginia Weekly at 843-322-0806 or at [email protected]. Individuals wishing to make a formal appeal may contact Sheila Burtz at 843-322-5417 or P.O. Box 755, Beaufort, SC 29901.