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'Felt like we won the lottery': All JCPS students are now eligible for free breakfast, lunch

All students are eligible for this regardless of their family's income.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — All students at Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) are now eligible for free breakfast and lunch. 

According to a news release from JCPS, all students are eligible for this regardless of their family's income. 

The Community Eligibility (CE) program has been extended to three more JCPS schools, officials said, bringing the total to 147 cafeterias serving every JCPS school. 

The news release states that J. Graham Brown School, Lowe Elementary School and duPont Manual High School were the last three schools to receive approval last week for free meals.

“When we were notified that our school was now eligible it felt like we won the lottery,” Angela Parsons, Brown School principal, said. “This is a victory for equity and families, many of whom may not qualify for the free lunch program but still struggle to provide their child with a full, nutritious lunch each school day.”

Whether or not a school district is able to participate in a CE program depends on the number of its students who are directly certified for free or reduced-price meal benefits. 

The news release states more than 65% of all JCPS students meet those guidelines.

Students who bring their lunch from home can also go through the cafeteria line and get a reimbursable meal at no charge. 

Officials said having every child in a school eligible also removes any stigma from the student receiving a free meal while a classmate is paying for one.

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