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Free Meal Program Expands to Hāna and Lānaʻi

This upcoming school year, HIDOE will expand the USDA CEP free meal program from seven public schools to 30 across the state. Photo Credit: Department of Education

This upcoming school year, HIDOE will expand the USDA CEP free meal program from seven public schools to 30 across the state.
Photo Credit: Department of Education

A federal program that offers free meals to students in schools with high poverty rates, has expanded from a pilot program with just seven Hawaiʻi campuses to 30 schools across the state.

The Community Eligibility Provision program started out as a pilot program at five Molokaʻi campuses, one school on Hawaiʻi Island and one school on Oʻahu.  Maui’s Hāna High and Elementary School and Lānaʻi High and Elementary are both included on the latest list of 23 additional schools.

Senator J. Kalani English of Maui (Senate District 7, which includes Hāna, East and Upcountry Maui, Moloka‘i, Lāna‘i, and Kaho‘olawe) applauded the Hawai‘i State Department of Education for taking steps to grow the program saying, “With most of the pilot schools in my district, I have seen these students thrive thanks to the meals provided for them. Now with the expansion, more students and their families will benefit from the program, and that’s certainly a smart investment towards our future.”

To qualify for the CEP program, a district, grouping or school must have a minimum of 40 percent or more of its students eligible for free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program. Photo Credit: Department of Education

To qualify for the CEP program, a district, grouping or school must have a minimum of 40 percent or more of its students eligible for free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program.
Photo Credit: Department of Education

The seven schools in the pilot program included:

The 23 additional schools being added to the CEP program are: