Free breakfasts, lunches coming for Darlington County students

Beginning this coming school year all Darlington County public school students will receive free breakfasts and lunches.

These free meals come as a result of the district's involvement in a new Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) of the National School Lunch & Breakfast Programs.

Under the CEP all children attending a school in the district will receive breakfast and lunch at no cost to the students.

Students and their families do not need to complete meal applications to receive the free meals for this school year.

The district is eligible for participation because of the high number of disadvantaged children in the district.

The free meals are the standard cafeteria meals served in the schools every day, which follow the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines for healthy school meals. Lunch menus are available on the district website.

Some schools in the district, particularly the high schools, offer additional food choices beyond the standard cafeteria meals. These food choices, such as pizza and subs, are not considered part of the CEP and students will be charged a la carte for those items.

The funding for the CEP comes from the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010, an amended section of the National School Lunch Act.