Program to provide free meals to students within Selma City System
By Scottie Brown
The Selma Times-Journal
The Selma City School System will be able to provide free breakfasts and lunches for the 2014-2015 school year thanks to Aleia Adams and the Community Eligibility Program.
Adams is the Child Nutrition Program Coordinator for the Selma City School System, and she said the program would greatly benefit the community.
“I think the most important thing to look at is our children are going to be fed,” Adams said. “When there is food in the tummy, there is knowledge going on in the head.”
The Community Eligibility Program will provide breakfast and lunch every day for the 4,000 plus students attending the 11 schools within the Selma City School System. The Selma City School System qualifies for the program, because 40 percent of the students in each school within Selma City School System were already directly certified for free lunches without having to fill out an application for free or reduced lunches, Adams said.
“We met that criteria,” Adams said. “Now, all of our children will eat free, one breakfast and one lunch.”
With the program, the schools system must continue to meet the standards for the Six Cents Certification program.
“All of our meals will go through a worksheet provided by the USDA,” Adams said. “They have to meet the standards set forth by the USDA and the State Department Education Child Nutrition.”
Adams said she hoped the Community Eligibility Program would increase the participation in both breakfast and lunch for students.
“This is a positive thing, and most of our students were already directly certified,” Adams said. “Now, it’s open to everyone.”
Overall, Adams said she was excited to see how the program would improve students’ lives.
“I’m a schoolteacher, and I know kids will sit down and look and not have their money,” Adams said. “I know I’ve given students money before. Everybody is equal now. Everyone gets the opportunity to eat.”