By Emily Crowe
CNJ STAFF WRITER
Clovis Municipal Schools will provide free breakfast for every student in the district thanks to a pilot program unanimously approved by the CMS Board of Education during its regular meeting Tuesday evening.
The district will use surplus money generated within the food program — between $180,000 and $200,000 per year, according to Paul Klein, director of Child Nutrition at Clovis Schools — to operate the program.
Klein said his department is funded by reimbursement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for students receiving free or reduced-cost meals.
“We want more kids to come and eat,” Klein said. “There’s a gap of 12 to 14 hours before some of these kids eat.”
Previously, breakfast cost $1 to $1.25 for full-paid students and 30¢ for reduced-cost students. Klein said about 69 percent of the district’s students are on free or reduced meal plans.
The 2013-2014 school year will be a pilot year for the program, with additional years to follow if participation and cost allow it.
“Obviously, a good nutritious meal to start the day is going to wake our brains up and get us going,” said CMS Superintendent Terry Myers. “We feed a lot of kids in the morning anyway, so this will just give every child in the district that same opportunity.”
“This is a big step for us,” Klein said. “We’re just really excited about it.”