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Purchasing Meals

Richmond Public Schools participates in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), which is a powerful tool that allows school divisions who meet certain income guidelines to offer breakfast and lunch to all students at no charge. This means that all students in our district are entitled to a nutritious school breakfast and lunch every day at no cost, and without the need to complete an annual application. 

Nutrition standards for school meals are aligned with the latest nutrition science and based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans released by the Department of Health and Human Services. Age-appropriate meals are designed for grades K-5, 6-8 and 9-12 based on the meal pattern established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and dietary specifications including limits on fats, sodium and calories..

Breakfasts served as part of the School Breakfast Program provide key nutrients children need every day — and updated nutrition requirements established under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 have amplified these benefits:

  • All meals meet nutrition guidelines that limit sodium and saturated fats and eliminate trans fats.
  • Children who participate in school breakfast are more likely to consume diets that are adequate or exceed standards for important vitamins and minerals than those who do not eat school breakfast or who have breakfast at home.
  • Children and adolescents who eat breakfast (and school breakfast) are significantly less likely to be overweight, while skipping breakfast is associated with a higher risk of obesity.
  • School breakfast also helps build lifelong healthy eating habits.
  • School breakfast has been shown to provide about 48% of the fruit, 40% of dairy, and 30% of whole grains that students need for the entire day.

Making sure every child has eaten a healthy breakfast is an important but often overlooked tool to boost academic performance:

  • Children who skip breakfast are less able to master the tasks necessary to do well in school.
  • Children who eat breakfast at school — closer to class and test-taking time — perform better on standardized tests than those who skip breakfast or eat breakfast at home.

Children who have eaten breakfast at school are less likely to cause distractions due to behavioral and disciplinary issues:

  • Teenagers experiencing hunger are more likely to be suspended from school, and to have difficulty getting along with other children and establishing friendships.
  • Students who participate in school breakfast exhibit decreased behavioral and psychological problems and have lower rates of absence and tardiness.
  • Providing students with breakfast in the classroom is associated with fewer disciplinary office referrals.