The Rich Township District 227 Food Service Department is excited to introduce the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) to our families and students for the 2020-2021 school year. Under the guidelines of the CEP, all students will automatically receive FREE breakfast and FREE lunch on a daily basis at school. There will no longer be any meal applications to be filled out by parents and students will simply use their ID cards, as they have in the past, to access the free breakfast and lunch in the school cafeterias. The CEP program is offered to qualifying school districts that participate in the National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs. We will continue to follow the nutritional standards and policies set forth by the USDA and ISBE in the administration of the meal programs. Some of the provisions of the CEP include:
- Parents will NOT fill out any applications for meal benefits.
- There will be a new process for applying for waivers of general school fees and text book fees which will not be connected to food service or any prior eligibility for meals.
- ALL students, regardless of their income or family status, will receive a free breakfast and free lunch daily in the cafeteria. These meals are prepared and served in accordance to the rules and regulations of the National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs.
- Students will access their free meals using their student ID cards. Students must have their ID cards on their person at time of service.
- Parents will continue to be able to make deposits of additional monies in their student’s meal accounts in order to purchase available à la carte and snack bar items in the cafeterias. Deposits can be made by setting up an account at www.myschoolbucks.com website. Any balances that were in a student’s meal account at end of the 2019-20 school year will be automatically be carried over to the next school year and available for use as of the first day of service.
- There is no change to the meal patterns for breakfast or lunch. The required meal pattern is as follows: For breakfast students will be offered 4 components and must choose 3 of the 4, one of which must be a fruit choice. For lunch students will be offered 5 components and must choose 2 of the 5, one of which must be fruit or vegetable choice.
We are looking forward to implementing this exciting new program that will enable us to bring the necessary nutritional benefits to every student in our district, regardless of their family’s financial situation. We feel this new provision will help relieve the financial stress for some of our families that did not qualify for meal benefits in the past and had to struggle to provide funding for breakfast and lunch. We are hoping to see a large increase in our breakfast participation as parents and students realize that fueling our bodies with morning nutrition leads to better learning, better concentration and better attitudes. We hope parents will encourage their student’s to participate in all meals at school to support their personal health and well-being.
If you have any questions about the CEP program, please contact Betsy Williams, Coordinator of Food Service at 708-679-5728 or [email protected]