Lanett School System applies for breakfast, lunch program

Published 7:00 am Friday, June 12, 2020

LANETT — The Lanett City School System is hoping to join a growing number of Alabama public school systems where students receive free breakfast and lunch for all students.

Through this past school year, Lanett had provided free and reduced-price meals to anyone who met the eligibility requirements. Those who were eligible had to go through an application process.

Lanett has applied for the new program through the State Department of Education. The school system expects to find out whether or not they have been approved by the start of the new school year.

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It’s unclear when the new school year will begin.

Lanett’s Child Nutrition Program (CNP) director, Julie Ann Ponder, is hopeful the application will be approved.

“It will be very beneficial for our students and their parents,” she said.”If it is approved, all our students will receive breakfast and lunch at no cost to them.”

Chambers County Schools are already participating in the program.

The free breakfast and lunch program is federally funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National School Lunch Program. The program was established under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, signed into law by President Harry Truman in 1948. An estimated 7.1 million school children participated that first year. That number has grown steadily since then and is well past 30 million now.

It started out providing nutritionally balanced, low-cost lunches every school day. In recent years, the program has expanded to include breakfast meals. In many areas, breakfast and lunch is provided at no cost to all students.

There’s broad agreement among educators that proper nutrition provides an important role in children receiving a good education.