Fed Funds Cover Cost of All Batavia City Schools’ Breakfast and Lunch
Written by Dan Fischer on July 17, 2018
The Batavia City School District (BCSD) applied for and was granted federal funding that will allow all students attending a District school to receive one nutritious breakfast and one nutritious lunch each day that school is in session. This four-year funding will begin in 2018-2019, with the District being eligible to re-apply for additional four-year terms as long as the federal program is funded. Batavia qualifies for this Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) funding – a provision of The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act – because of its classification as an economically disadvantaged community due to a significant number of students already qualifying for free or reduced meals.
“This is an outstanding opportunity for the District, and we are very excited to be able to take advantage of a federal program that allows us to offer every student one healthy breakfast and lunch every school day at no cost to our families,” says Superintendent of Schools Christopher J. Dailey. “Research is conclusive that good nutrition is a critical factor in learning. This is a program that allows us to bring some of our federal tax dollars back to our community to provide nutritious meals for all of our students.”
The CEP funding is for the first full breakfast and first full lunch. If a student would like a second breakfast or second lunch, or would like one or more particular separate items (“ala carte” items), then those will need to be purchased. Purchases can be made with cash or through My School Bucks – the Nutrikids computerized payment system which has been used by families in the District for several years. Because all children will receive one breakfast and one lunch at no cost, the option of charging items to a tab to be paid at a later time will no longer be available.
To qualify for other income-based funding and grants – a process which was formerly measured by information recorded on the Free and Reduced Meal Applications -all students’ families will be asked to submit a short household form to establish the level of community need. The District currently receives a significant amount of money in grants and other funding based on economic need. Collecting data from all households will permit us to continue to apply for and receive funding for which we are eligible. The new form is currently being developed to ensure that the information required for applications to grant-funding agencies is gathered while not being unnecessarily burdensome or invasive to families.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) for Batavia City School District
Question: Who receives free meals?
Every student enrolled in the Batavia City School District will receive the first breakfast and the first lunch at no cost each school day regardless of the family’s household income. Students are not required to participate; students may still bring their lunch if that is their preference.
Question: Is my child able to make purchases, such as for milk (if bringing lunch from home), for other a la carte items, or for a second school meal?
Yes, students may make purchases instead of or in addition to the first free breakfast or first free lunch. The purchase of all a la carte items will remain the same, in that families are responsible for payment. Additional meals are not covered under the program and it is each family’s responsibility to pay for those meals. Payment is due at the time of purchase. Purchases may be made with cash or through My School Bucks, the Nutrikids computerized payment system which has been used by families in the District for several years.
Please note: there is NO charging allowed for additional meals or a la carte items.
Prices for second meals and additional milk (or milk purchased a la carte) for 2018-2019 are:
Jackson and John Kennedy Middle School and High School
Second Breakfast $1.35 $1.45
Second Lunch $2.10 $2.30
A la carte Milk* $0.60 $0.60
Milk is included with the first breakfast and the first lunch or any additional paid meals. However, milk purchased separately (for students who bring their lunch) will be charged at a la carte prices, which is $0.60.
Question: How does the program work?
The New York State Child Nutrition (CN) Department began this program several years ago with federal funding backing the program. School Districts must be eligible based on their specific poverty rates and have to apply to CN for approval. Batavia City School District is eligible because it has an Identified Student Percentage of 40 percent or higher according to building level data. An Identified Student refers to any student certified to receive free meals by any means other than the submission of individual paper applications, such as SNAP and Medicaid.
Question: What impact does this program have on school taxes?
There is no impact on school taxes. The General Fund budget (which the taxpayers vote on each year) is completely separate from the self-sustaining School Lunch Fund.
Question: Who needs to fill out the CEP Household Income Eligibility Form?
All District families are asked to fill out the CEP Household Income Eligibility Form. The completion of this form is essential for the District. Many state and federal programs use socioeconomic data (that is, household and income information) to determine eligibility for their programs. In addition primary state funding calculations use socioeconomic data. In order to continue to receive such funding and grants, the income information still needs to be gathered from our student population. The form is available in the school calendar, online at the Batavia City School District Nutritional Service web page at: https://www.bataviacsd.org/Page/5872 and will also be available at all school open house events.
Question: If I have questions about the Household Income Form or if I received a letter this school year indicating that my children are approved for free meals, who can I contact?
Please contact the Food Service Department at 585-343-2480 x1007. The office will be able to assist you with any questions or paperwork.
Question: Who do I include as members of my household and what if my monthly income is not always the same?
You must include all people living in your household, related or not (such as grandparents, other relatives or friends) who share your income and expenses. You must include yourself and all children living with you. If you live with other people who are economically independent (people that you do not support, who do not share income with you and your children and who pay a pro-rated share of expenses), do NOT include them. List the income that you normally receive if your monthly income varies. If you have lost your job or had your hours or wages reduced, use your current income.
Question: Does this program change the quality of food that can be served?
There is no impact to the quality of food that is served. The District must still continue to follow all food and dietary guidelines that are set by New York State Child Nutrition Program.
Question: What constitutes a complete meal for breakfast and lunch?
The District complies with the Federal Program: Choosemyplate.gov. For breakfast, the District offers two grains, a fruit, and a milk. Students must choose at least three of the four offered items, and one of those chosen must be the fruit. For lunch, the District offers a protein, a grain, a fruit, a vegetable and a milk. Students must choose three of the five offered items, and one of those chosen must be the fruit or vegetable.
Question: May a student be charged for an incomplete meal if the student refuses to select the required components for a complete meal?
The District will offer a complete meal to each student in order to qualify for the CEP fully funded reimbursable meal. However, if a student refuses to take the complete meal then the student will be charged a la carte prices for the foods selected on their tray.
Question: My child has a positive balance on his/her “MySchoolBucks” account. What happens to the current balance?
The balance on the My School Bucks account can be used for a la carte purchases or for any additional/second meals. If you would like a refund of your account balance please send an email to Susan Presher at firstname.lastname@example.org a written letter to Susan Presher, Nutritionals Services Director, 260 State Street, Batavia, NY 14020.