Newport schools approved for free meals

NEWPORT, AR (KAIT) - The Newport Special School District is pleased to announce that the district will take part in the Community Eligibility Provision for the upcoming school year.

Newport Superintendent Larry Bennett said their Child Nutrition Department received notice that their application to feed all students for free has been approved by the Department of Education.

Bennett said all students in the Newport School District will receive breakfast and lunch for free.

"Each year, we have about 78 to 80 percent of our students on a free and reduced lunch program," he said. So, this will allow not only those students to have something different but all of our students. Even those who paid in the past will now get to eat free."

Bennett said this was made possible through the United States Department of Agriculture Special Assistance Certification and the Reimbursement Community Eligibility Provision.

"This saves parents a lot of money," Bennett said. "It saves a lot of headache, as far as collecting money. Students charging things and unfortunately not paying for them later on and it creates a problem for the parent. So, this should alleviate a lot of those problems."

However, Bennett said the free meals will only be the regular meal planned for the day.

Any food other than the regular meal will cost the student.

Bennett said their new food service will begin when students return to school on August 14.

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