Free school meals program expanding to more Kennewick schools

Free school meals program expanding to more Kennewick schools

A free lunch program is expanding to several schools in Kennewick for the 2017-18 school year.

The program was piloted by Edison and Westgate elementary schools along with Highlands Middle School this school year. It offers breakfast and lunch at no cost under the Community Eligibility Provision, which allows all students to receive free meals with the help of federal funding.

Next year they will be joined by Amistad, Canyon View, Eastgate, Hawthorne, Vista and Washington elementary schools and Park Middle School.

A district may serve every student at a school free meals under the Community Eligibility Provision as long as at least 40 percent of that school’s enrollment already meet qualifying conditions for state and federal services.

Nutrition Services Director Sam Shick says the pilot program has led to more meals being served to students at selected schools during the 2016-17 school year and additional federal reimbursement covered the expenses.

School staff have reported lunch periods run more smoothly since students no longer have to worry about bringing cash or making sure their lunch accounts have funds.