Penn Hills students to receive free lunches, breakfasts next school year |

Penn Hills students to receive free lunches, breakfasts next school year

Michael DiVittorio

Penn Hills School District students will not have to worry about paying for breakfasts and lunches next school year.

District officials recently approved the high school’s participation in the National School Lunch Program’s Community Eligibility Provision. It’s being administered by the state Department of Education’s Division of Food and Nutrition.

CEP provides free breakfasts and lunches in districts or schools in which at least 40% of the students are eligible for free or reduced lunches, meaning their families receive food stamps, medical assistance or other government aid.

There are about 1,150 students at the high school and about 3,820 in the district.

The current cost of a high school lunch is $3.75 and $2 for breakfast.

The elementary school qualified for the program since the 2017-18 school year. Linton Middle School and the district’s K-8 cyber academy qualified this school year. The programs last for five years.

“The CEP option offers relief to our residents who have children,” Superintendent Nancy Hines said. “Given recent tax increases and rising costs for various products and services families typically purchase, I am sure our families appreciate this option which will be in effect in each of our three schools for a minimum of four years.”

Board President Erin Vecchio echoed Hines’ comments about having free breakfasts and lunches for all students in 2019-20.

“It helps them because parents don’t have to worry about sending their kids with lunch money,” she said. “It’s hard to believe in this day and age that people struggle with this. It’s actually sad, but you know your kids are getting fed. That’s the bottom line.”

The Nutrition Group is the district’s food service management company.

Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-871-2367, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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