Free lunch, breakfast crucial for students, superintendent says

INDEPENDENCE COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - A pair of schools in Independence County will be providing free lunch and breakfast to every student on campus this year.

Both the Midland and Cedar Ridge School Districts qualified for the federal Community Eligibility Provision for low-income areas, school officials said. In order to participate, at least 40 percent of the students who receive free or reduced lunches have to receive either government assistance or are in foster care.

Cedar Ridge Superintendent Andy Ashley said the change will help families, especially those in need.

"Even those students that may not have ever filled out a free or reduced lunch form for whatever reason, it's gonna help those too," Ashley said. "Those parents who may have three or four kids and were just barely over the line and probably who needed help but weren't able to get it because of the numbers."

In addition to removing the stigma, Ashley said it can also help students go through the lunch or breakfast line without having to worry about money.

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