More students to receive free meals this school year

July 27, 2023

Students at 25 schools and centers in Richland School District Two will eat breakfast and lunch for free during the 2023-2024 school year and families will not have to fill out meal applications. The district is announcing the following schools are participating in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) which means each student enrolled at these schools and centers qualifies to eat school meals at no cost regardless of household income:

  • Center for Inquiry
  • Center for Knowledge
  •  Bookman Road Elementary
  • Bridge Creek Elementary
  • Catawba Trail Elementary
  • Forest Lake Elementary
  • Jackson Creek Elementary
  •  Joseph Keels Elementary
  • Killian Elementary
  •  L.W. Conder Elementary
  • Langford Elementary
  • Lonnie B. Nelson Elementary
  • North Springs Elementary
  • Polo Road Elementary
  • Pontiac Elementary
  • Rice Creek Elementary
  • Sandlapper Elementary
  • Windsor Elementary
  • Dent Middle
  • E. L. Wright Middle
  • Longleaf Middle
  • Summit Parkway Middle
  • Richland Northeast High
  • Ridge View High
  • Westwood High

Section 104(a) of the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 amended section 11(a)(1) of the Richard B Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1759a(a)(1))(the law) to provide an alternative to household applications for free and reduced-price meals in local educational agencies and schools with increased levels of low-income students. More than 18,300 students will benefit from CEP.

Breakfast and lunch meals follow the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines for healthy school meals. Students are encouraged to participate in the school meal programs. For additional information contact School Food Service at [email protected].

Parents or guardians that do not want their child/children to participate in CEP may wish to discuss this matter with Food Service Accounting Specialist Nicole Burns at [email protected] on an informal basis.

Parents wishing to make a formal appeal may make a request either orally or in writing to Chief Operations Officer Will Anderson 803-736-3774, Richland School District Two, Attn: Will Anderson, 124 Risdon Way, Columbia, SC 29223 for a hearing to appeal the decision.

Not all schools in Richland Two are a part of CEP. Families of students wishing to participate in the free/reduced-priced meal options under the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program at the following 12 schools and centers will have to complete meal applications:

  • Center for Achievement
  • Center for Knowledge North
  • Bethel-Hanberry Elementary
  • Lake Carolina Elementary-Lower
  • Lake Carolina Elementary-Upper
  • Round Top Elementary
  • Blythewood Middle
  • Kelly Mill Middle
  • Muller Road Middle
  • Blythewood Academy
  • Blythewood High
  •  Spring Valley High

Applications are available on the district’s website:

For school officials to determine eligibility, the household must provide the following information on the application: (1) A SNAP or TANF case number certifying the household is currently eligible for either of these assistance programs and an adult household member signature or (2) names of all household members, the name and last four digits of the social security number of the adult household member signing the application form, current income by source for each household member and a signature of an adult household member certifying that the information provided is correct.

Foster children may also be eligible for these benefits regardless of household income. If a household has foster children living with them and the household has not previously been notified by the district that their foster children have been directly certified for free meals, the household should include and count the foster children (including personal income earned by the foster children) on the household application form with other non-foster children.

Under the provisions of the policy, Nicole Burns will review applications and determine eligibility. Parents or guardians dissatisfied with the ruling of the reviewing official may wish to discuss the decision with the reviewer on an informal basis. Parents wishing to make a formal appeal may make a request either orally or in writing to Will Anderson whose address is: 124 Risdon Way, Columbia, SC 29223 for a hearing to appeal the decision. The hearing procedures are outlined in the policy.

If a household member becomes unemployed or if household size changes, the household should contact the school to file a meal application.

Such changes may make the children of the household eligible for free or reduced-price meals if the household income falls at or below the levels shown below. A complete copy of the policy is on file in each school and in the district superintendent’s office where any interested party may review it.