Federal program to give Cape Girardeau district free meals

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) — A program through the U.S. Department of Agriculture will provide students in the Cape Girardeau school district with free meals for four years.

The Southeast Missourian reports that the school district recently announced it’ll receive more than $1.5 million in assistance through the Community Eligibility Provision. The program will serve the district’s 4,000 students with free breakfasts and lunches.

Josh Crowell is assistant superintendent of support services for the district. Crowell says the district qualified for the program because 40 percent of students are living at or below the poverty line.

Blanchard Elementary Principal Barbara Kohlfeld says families in the past had to fill out applications to qualify for free lunch based on income level and other factors.

Crowell says he hopes the program ends the stigma around free food.

Photo Gallery