Contact: Johanna Elsemore, firstname.lastname@example.org
July 16, 2020
BALTIMORE, MD – On July 15, the Baltimore County Public Schools Board of Education passed a resolution to implement the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) in all eligible schools by the August 31, 2020 deadline. Introduced by board member Dr. Erin Hager, the resolution passed unanimously. No Kid Hungry Maryland led more than 70 local organizations and individuals in a letter to the School Board advocating that all eligible schools adopt this program, which makes is easier for schools to feed kids by allowing schools to offer free breakfast and lunch to all students. The following is a statement from No Kid Hungry Maryland Senior Manager Tam Lynne Kelley:
“We applaud the Baltimore County Public School Board’s commitment to ensuring all its eligible schools elect the Community Eligibility Provision ahead of the August 2020 deadline. The unprecedented level of need in our community that has resulted from the coronavirus makes it more urgent than ever that our schools take advantage of this opportunity to create Hunger-Free Schools.
Many families are out of work and struggling to put food on the table. Applications for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in Maryland quadrupled in just the first month of the pandemic as unemployment has soared.
While we don’t yet know what “back to school” will look like this year, we do know that feeding kids will be challenging due to social distancing requirements and virtual learning. As we look ahead to an uncertain school year, CEP will support the dedicated frontline school nutrition staff by reducing administrative burdens and streamlining operations. By electing CEP, schools ensure that all of their students will have the nutrition they need to learn and thrive while simultaneously eliminating unpaid school meal debt, school lunch shaming, and the stigma that can be associated with school meals. Thousands of families in Baltimore County will benefit as a result.”
High unemployment and increased use of federal benefit programs due to the coronavirus means that more schools than ever before are now eligible to use CEP. To learn more about how CEP helps schools feed hungry kids, visit https://state.nokidhungry.org/maryland/.