PARADISE, Calif. - The Paradise Unified School District is focused on keeping students alert and healthy with their new free breakfast and lunch program.
The schools in Paradise are pleased to introduce a new food program. Because it's free for every single student, no one has to feel embarrassed or uncomfortable in line, and it helps the kids maintain a well-balanced, nutritious diet.
"Our participation was above and beyond what we had expected which is wonderful, that means the word got out family's heard that we were offering free meals and more importantly our kids are participating in the program and benefiting from those free meals," the Director of Food Service at PUSD, Tanya Harter said.
This service is called a Community Elegibility Provision. It's a way of serving meals to communities with higher poverty levels.
This program helps reduce paperwork for families as well as administration offices, but more importantly it allows schools to provide a meal at no-charge for breakfast and lunch to every student within the school district.
The first day of school was Tuesday and the service came in full force."I won't say we ran out of food at any of our school cites, but we came very close," Harter said.
The food district tries to offer at least three different entree's every day for breakfast and five for lunch - ranging from breakfast burrito's, fresh fruits and milk... to pizza, hamburgers, and fresh vegetables.
"Overall the community has embraced it," Harter said. "They're very excited that they have that opportunity for the children in the school district."
The program aims to not only provide nutritional value for the kids, but also to improve academic performance, increase participation in class and decrease the number of sick days.
Harter provided a reminder to the Paradise community, "The district itself does not fund free meals we are reimbursed by the USDA for each meal that we serve, so its not coming from the community it's coming from the federal and local government."
Complete list of districts who participate in the CEP- https://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/nu/sn/cepdistricts.asp