Free Meals Continued for LPPS Students 23-24

Free Meals Program Continued for All Livingston Parish Students for 2023-2024 School Year
Posted on 07/18/2023
This is the image for the news article titled Free Meals Program Continued for All  Livingston Parish Students for 2023-2024 School YearFree Meals Program Continued for All Livingston Parish Students for 2023-2024 School Year

LIVINGSTON, La. – Livingston Parish School System leaders recently elected to continue the district’s participation in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) that allows all student meals to continue to be served for free for the 2023-2024 school year.

“Our school leaders understand the vital role of healthy meals in the educational process,” Superintendent Joe Murphy said. “Our students must have access to daily nutrition to learn and develop properly. By accessing the free meal service for all our students, we can ensure that our students have the nutrition they need, and we can reduce the financial burden on our families.”

Director of School Food Services Sommer Purvis estimates the average cost per year for a student to eat breakfast and lunch is approximately $1,200 per student.

“The cost of food has become a growing hardship in our current economy. The CEP program allows us to take away some of that burden for our families during the school year,” Purvis said.

The CEP program is managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and it makes available free meal services without the necessity of household meal applications.

Purvis said the district has participated in the CEP program since 2016, following the flood that severely damaged more than 70 percent of residences, schools, churches, and businesses in the parish. She said the district elected to continue its participation for the 2023-2024 school year on June 30.

She said the CEP reimburses the district for food costs based on the percentage of students categorically eligible for free meals according to their participation in other specific means-tested programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).