I have recently been asked several questions about the Community Eligibility Program. This federal government program provides a free breakfast and lunch to all the students in a district that qualifies for the program regardless of a family’s income. Some school districts in our area have applied and approved to participate in this program. The question I have been asked is, “Why doesn’t Fillmore participate in this program?”
We have been aware of this program since its release and is a program we would love to bring to our community. The eligibility requirement is based on the number of Direct Certified students who receive free and reduced meals. Direct Certification means the number of students who qualify for free and reduced and Social Services provides the district with that number. The number of students approved through the Free and Reduced application process is not considered in determining eligibility for the grant. A district must have 40% or more of its students Direct Certified to apply for the grant and right now we have 36%. We are working hard at getting this number above 40% so we are eligible to apply because this would be a great opportunity for our entire community. For our district to qualify and not cost any money to support the grant, we would need to be a Direct Certification rate of 58% to break even.
The grant application is once a year in the spring. Our administration and Board of Education will continue to review our Direct Certification percentage and any changes in the grant that would make our participation possible.
For those interested in receiving services you should contact our Social Worker, Miss Bailey at (585) 567-2251 or contact the Allegany County Department of Social Services at:
7 Court Street County Office Bldg. Rm. 127
Belmont, NY 14813
If you would like more information about the Community Eligibility Program please go to their website: https://hungersolutionsny.org/school-meals-hub-ny-0/community-eligibility-provision/
Thank you for your support,
Michael R. Dodge
Superintendent of Fillmore School District
104 W. Main Street
Fillmore, NY 14735
Phone: 585-567-2251 or 585-567-2252