Nutrition services

CPS Nutrition Services works on plan for free and discounted lunch as school begins online



Columbia Public Schools Nutrition Services is working on plans for the free and discounted lunch program for this school year.

On Monday, the Columbia Board of Education decided to start the school year online only as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise.

CPA spokesperson Michelle Baumstark said district staff make sure meals are provided to all of their students in need.

“We have our families who have already selected months ago that they want to start the school year online and within those families we have students who are nominated or who qualify to receive a free lunch and to reduced price, so we were already putting together a plan for these students, ”Baumstark said. “Now we have the additional component of our in-person students that we can’t start in person, so we’ll have a similar plan for these students. “

Baumstark told ABC 17 News in March that half of CPS’s student body was entitled to a free and discounted lunch.

Director of Nutrition Services Laina Fullum said they were working to use the same bus routes they used for spring and summer meal delivery as a starting point.

According to the CPS site, in the spring and summer, CPS had eight buses making hop-on hop-off trips every day of the week. The students were able to join the bus at the designated stop and on time for their meals.

“It’s not an end because we want more participation, so we’re just going to build from there what our initial thinking is,” Fullum said.

She also said that due to COVID-19 everything is evolving and changing and the district is going to be flexible.

Fullum said Nutrition Services is working to have a plan on Wednesday for what the free and discounted breakfast program for families will be.

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 are available here or at the student’s school.