Atlanta Public Schools (APS) was selected to implement the Community Eligibility Option (CEO) program for free meal reimbursement during the 2013-14 school year. Through CEO, 58 APS elementary, middle and high schools will offer meals at no charge to all students. Georgia is one of 11 states chosen to pilot this innovative nutrition program.
The Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 includes the implementation of the CEO program to ensure that every student in low-income neighborhoods can participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP). A district or school must have 40 percent or more of its students eligible for free meals to qualify.
“The CEO program will ensure that every child has access to free breakfast, lunch, and afterschool snacks every day within these selected schools,” said Dr. Marilyn Hughes, director of APS’ Nutrition Department. “Because the schools are located in communities with high levels of need, this program will enable us to provide healthy meals for student success.”
By participating in the CEO program, APS will eliminate the procedure of distributing and processing meal applications and reduce administrative and printing costs at those 58 schools. Families also benefit by automatically being eligible for free meals for their children who are enrolled at the participating schools.
The CEO program will be available to the entire country in 2015. For more information about APS’ nutrition program and school menus, visit www.atlantapublicschools.us/nutrition.