FAIRMONT, W.Va. (WBOY) — Marion County Schools will be participating in the Community Eligibility Provision during the 2022-2023 school year, meaning all students can eat both breakfast and lunch every day at no cost to their parents.

When the school district made the announcement on its website Wednesday, it said parents do not need to complete a school meals application this year, and that parents with questions could call the Child Nutrition Office at 304-367-2106.

In Marion County, students in grades 1st through 12th return to school on Monday, Aug. 22 and students in kindergarten and pre-k return on Wednesday, Aug. 24.

The district took part in the program last year as well.

About the Community Eligibility Provision

The Community Eligibility Provision is a meal service option for schools and school districts in low-income areas administered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service. Schools that adopt it are reimbursed for meal services using a formula based on the percentage of students categorically eligible for free meals based on their participation in other specific means-tested programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

The program operates on a year-to-year basis, with districts having the option to review

Marion County Schools Administrative Assistant of Technology, Transportation, and Child Nutrition Chad Norman spoke with 12 News about the decision to participate in the program.

“We certainly know the financial hardships all parents are having,” Norman said. “We know that the price of gasoline, the price of food, we know how important it is for students to have a good meal. We know the obligations that parents have, the financial obligations.”

Norman said Marion County acknowledges that students must be fed in order to be taught and that when they are fed they can be ready to learn, which translates into high achievement.

“We certainly think it’s very important, it—it makes up feel good as a school district that we are able to help students and help families and we know how important it is for our kids to come to school and learn and not be concerned about breakfast and lunch,” Norman said.