KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) — During the 2022-23 academic year, Kanawha County students can eat free breakfast and lunch at school through the Community Eligibility Program (CEP). Students in the county were able to receive free meals via summer feeding sites, some of which remain open through Aug. 12.

As a result of the Health, Hunger-Free Kids Act, the CEP provides free meal services to children in impoverished areas. If at least 40% of a school’s population meets the requirements for meal benefits, then all students qualify. This is the fourth year for the option in Kanawha County.

According to 2017 data, over 79,000 West Virginia children live in food insecure households. Kanawha County estimates that 68 schools will participate in the CEP, which will feed nearly 25,000 students a day.

“I am proud that Kanawha County Schools will be participating in the CEP program to help meet a crucial need for many students in our county,” said Dr. Thomas Williams, Superintendent of Kanawha County Schools. “We know academic achievement increases when our students are well-fed and ready to learn, and we must provide secure and reliable access to nutritious meals so all students have a chance to achieve at the highest level possible.”