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Raleigh County students to get free meals in ’24-25

By Josephine E. Moore, The Register-Herald

BECKLEY, W.Va. — Raleigh County Schools will offer free breakfasts and lunches to students in all grade levels starting next school year.

The Raleigh County Board of Education approved the decision during a special meeting Monday morning.

Raleigh County Schools Superintendent Serena Starcher said she’s pleased that the district can offer this at a time when the financial burden on families is increasing elsewhere.

“Certainly, we know kids can’t learn as well as we need them to if they’re hungry, and this will meet a vital piece of student learning just by making sure they have full bellies,” Starcher said. “… The prices of everything just continue to rise, and if we can take this burden from parents and families, then we’re happy to do that. We’re thrilled to do.”

Free school meals in Raleigh County Schools will begin for the 2024-25 school year.

Starcher said they are able to offer free meals by adopting the Comprehensive Eligibility Provision for all schools.

Previously, Starcher said only their elementary schools were enrolled in the program.

The Community Eligibility Provision is a National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program meal service option that allows schools and school districts in high-poverty areas to offer meals at no cost to all students without collecting household applications.

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