Program provides all St. Landry Parish students free meals until May

OPELOUSAS, La (KLFY) – Beginning Tuesday, St. Landry Parish students will get free breakfast and lunch at school through the Community Eligibility Provision.

“With the program our students are eligible for free lunch and free breakfast at no charge to their parents,” said Lucretia Chancler, Supervisor of Child Nutrition for St. Landry Parish Schools.

Chancler says the program has been in effect in the district for the last 3 years, but not all schools previously qualified.

“Due to the disaster, we had an increase in people in our community that were eligible for the DSNAP program, which actually increased the students that were on our direct certification list,” explained Chancler.

Chancler says prior to the increase, the district only had 22 eligible schools and now the remaining 10 schools have been added to the list–making all 32 schools in the parish eligible.

“In these hard economic times, it is good for a parent to not have to worry about collecting money or getting money to try to feed a student,” said Hebrard Greene, Assistant Principal at Park Vista Elementary School.

Greene says this will be a huge relief on the 10% or so students at his school who do not receive free lunch.

“Now we don’t have to worry about those students who did not have it,” said Hebrard.

Chancler says parents will not be required to submit any financial documentation as normally advised.

“However, any students that had meal charges and owed the child nutrition department monies, we’re not going to forgive those charges they are responsible for their debt,” said Chancler.

The free meals for students will continue until the end of the school year in May.

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