The Canastota Central School District, which comprises Peterboro Street Elementary School, Southside Elementary School, Roberts Street Elementary School, and Canastota Junior/Senior High School, has announced a modification to its meal policy for children who are served under the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program for the 2023-2024 school year.
The amendment permits children at all schools or sites to be served meals at no cost. The district has closely monitored and assessed school demographics and has taken advantage of the Community Eligibility Program (CEP). A school district qualifies for the CEP program if it has over 40% of families that are directly certified for specific programs such as Medicaid, SNAP, or TANF.
Our student enrollment is over 1200, of which over 620 students are Directly Certified. Our current identified student percentage (ISP) is 48.86%. Canastota has been approved for four years, and we will continue to track our Direct Certification families each year. We do not need to reapply annually for CEP Designation, but after the fourth year, we enter a grace year to reapply.
We are thrilled that our district was authorized to offer this program to our families. This is one way our school district is assisting families in combatting rising costs. A hungry child cannot learn. With this approval, we can provide free meals for five years before needing to reapply. Under the CEP program, families in the Canastota Central School District are not obligated to fill out an application.