Free breakfast and lunch being provided for Wayne County, WV sch - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Free breakfast and lunch being provided for Wayne County, WV schools

Posted: Updated:
CHARLESTON, WV - Breakfast and lunch will be free for all 20 schools for the 2014-2015 school year in Wayne County, WV.

According to a news release issued by the Wayne County Board of Education, they gave a unanimous approval to provide both free breakfast and lunch for Wayne County schools, increasing the federal Community Eligibility Provision from 11 schools this past year that qualified through the program's ratings scale.

The news release said that the school system will not have to spend as much money than it has for the past two years, and unpaid meal bills will stop accumulating, although according to the news release, the school system must by federal law continue to pursue the more than $700,000 that accumulated during the past decade.  During the past two years, it averaged more than $70,000 in new debt.

According to the news release, statistics show that free meals translate into increased participation from students, which also means an increase in federal reimbursement to the county school system to help offset the county contribution.

Jenae VanHoose, who is the assistant principal at Fort Gay PreK-8, which is one of the schools that received free meals this past year, said in the news release that students who have full bellies tend to be more engaged and responsive. “They’re not thinking about being hungry,” Hoose said. 

According to Brenda Arrowood, Food Service Director, "This is a huge step.  One more for the kids."

Arrowood said in the news release there are proposals on the table in Congress to relax the strict nutrition guidelines that have caused some parents to publicly express their concerns at board meetings in the past year.  

Although regardless of what happens at the federal level, Arrowood said in the news release her cooks will continue to work hard to stay within those guidelines and provide a tasty meal that kids will eat. 

Superintendent Lynn Hurt said in the news release that she was happy to endorse this move, saying "Anytime you have the opportunity to offer meals in all school for all kids, what can be wrong with that?"