Nutrition services

CPS Nutrition Services sets the start date for the free and discounted meals program



Columbia Public Schools will begin the discounted and free lunch program on Tuesday; the first day of class.

CPS Director of Nutrition Services Laina Fullum said the district plans to use the original bus routes for spring and summer meal deliveries at the start of the school year.

Fullum said Nutrition Services will provide both breakfast and lunch.

The director of nutrition said she wanted all meals to be free for eligible students. However, she also said the district may have to collect numbers until it hears from the Missouri State Department of Education regarding its discounted and free meal program plan.

“I think they’ll say all meals are free based on the eight Title I schools,” Fullum said.

According to the CPS website, Title I schools are schools with a high percentage of children from low-income families.

Fullum said she wanted to meet the needs of virtual students eligible for the lunch program.

CPS mom Tera Eckerle said that as a working single mom she felt overwhelmed trying to figure out how she could work things out and take care of her sons.

For Eckerle, that’s when the free and discounted meal plan kicked in.

She said the program has had a huge impact on her family.

“It has definitely improved our way of life because I can spend more time trying to focus on learning online rather than having to go to the store and buy breakfast food now,” Eckerle. “It had a huge impact in our daily life. “

Eckerle said his family received meals in the spring and summer as part of the CPS meal program.

“I like the way they organize drop-offs and send emails telling you at certain times when to come,” Eckerle said.

Fullum said nutrition services will soon notify families of the meal program and bus routes via email.

The CPA website states that families are encouraged to enroll in the free and discounted meal program. A new application must be completed each year to be eligible.

Applications and more information are available here or at the student’s school.