Education

Escambia adds 17 schools to free meal program

This coming school year, 17 schools in Escambia County will join a program that offers free meals schoolwide through the National School Lunch Program.

In total, 47 Escambia schools are participating in the Community Eligibility Provision of the program. That is part of a federal law that allows a school districts with serve a high percentage of low-income students to offer free meals to all students at the school without having to collect individual applications from each family.

Schools that adopt CEP are reimbursed using a formula based on the percentage of students participating in other specific means-tested programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The free and reduced-price lunch rate is one of the 16 indicators in the Studer Community Institute’s Pensacola metro dashboard. The dashboard is a set of educational, economic and social well-being indicators to help track the health of a community.

It showed 69.3 percent of Escambia students were eligible for free or reduced-price meals for the 2016-2017 school year.

Escambia schools in the program:

Elementary Schools:  Bellview, Bratt, Brentwood, C.A. Weis, Ensley, Ferry Pass, Global Learning Academy, Holm, Jim Allen, Lincoln Park, Lipscomb, Longleaf, McArthur, Molino Park, Montclair, Myrtle Grove, Navy Point, Oakcrest, Pine Meadow,  Pleasant Grove, Scenic Heights, O.J. Semmes, Sherwood, Warrington and West Pensacola.

Middle Schools:  Bellview, Ernest Ward, Ferry Pass, Jim Bailey, Warrington, Woodham and Workman.

High Schools:  Escambia, Northview, Pensacola, Pine Forest, Booker T. Washington.

Special Centers:  Camelot, Lakeview Center, Judy Andrews, McMillian PreK Center, and Escambia Westgate Center

Alternative Education/Charters:  Byrneville Charter, Capstone, Escambia Charter, and Jacqueline Harris Preparatory Academy

Vocational School:  George Stone Technical (Phoenix Initiative Program)

A school breakfast costs $1.25 for elementary school students, and $1.50 for middle and high school.

Lunch at an elementary school costs $2.25; at middle or high school it costs $2.50.

The reduced price rate for breakfast is 30 cents; a lunch is 40 cents.

A family of four earning $45,510 a year is eligible for a reduced-price meal. To be eligible for a free lunch, a family of four must earn $31,980, according to program guidelines.