The Texarkana, Ark., School District's Board of Trustees approved a program to provide free meals for all students in the district Tuesday when it met for its regular monthly meeting at the administration building at 3425 Jefferson Ave.
Directors unanimously approved a contract with Community Eligibility Provision, a program through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to provide the meals at no cost. The Healthy Hunger Free Act of 2010 allows for high-poverty districts to provide meals at no charge to the students.
The program will start with the 2019-2020 school year.
"We can serve every one of our students at no charge to the student and no charge to the district. It's a win-win for everybody," Superintendent Dr. Becky Kesler said.
Because all students receive meals at no cost, individual children no longer have to worry about the stigma associated with free or reduced-price status.
Additionally, by offering all students a nutritious breakfast and lunch at no cost, CEP helps boost participation, helping schools ensure more students attend class well-nourished.
The district has the option to opt out of the program at any time, according to the administration.
In other business, the board also reviewed its Redline Handbook and student/parent handbook.