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New nutrition program approved for J.C. schools

October 24, 2018

Johnson County Cafeteria Staff 2018-2019
The complete Johnson County cafeteria staff poses with Nutrition Director Kathy McCulloch. File photo.

Megan Hollaway
Freelance Writer

Johnson County schools have been approved for a new special kind of lunch program under the name of the Community Eligibility Program. The Community Eligibility Program is a universal meal plan, designed to ensure meals to all of the students in the county free of charge, without indication of need or economic status. Our schools have been working on the projects for some time now, as the process for enrolling a school, group of schools, or district, begins at least in the previous school year; during which time at least forty percent of the student population must be enrolled in free or reduced lunches. After that number is achieved, the schools can begin working on enrolling the entire school population on the Community Eligibility Program.

This project is made possible by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which is dedicated to the fighting of child hunger. While in school, the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act wants students to have access to two full meals. This particular Community Eligibility Program was created to ensure that no children were left out from this- even if their financial need isn’t considered great enough to qualify for free or reduced lunch.

“This is a great opportunity for our county and the students in our schools,” said Johnson County Schools director Mischelle Simcox.

While the Community Eligibility Program is not yet in action, there is a great promise to the health and mental security for parents and student alike. The Johnson County School Board and the county surrounding it have provided a space in which students do not have to worry about where their food is coming from; only about learning and growing. Yet again, the community of Johnson County has rallied to see that its newest generation is given the tools of success, whether it be building future leaders, or ensuring those future have enough to eat.