Anonymous donor provides free lunch for Polk middle school students

Published 10:29 pm Thursday, August 27, 2015

By Brandon Shanesy


Approximately 1,600 Polk County students currently enrolled in pre-kindergarten through 8th grade will be receiving free breakfast and lunch for the 2015-16 school year.


Polk County began offering free lunch at a school-wide level last year through North Carolina’s Community Eligibility Provision. The CEP assists schools that are located in high-poverty areas, and have a high percentage of “identified students” that are free meal approved or eligible.


“Through that program we allowed all of our students in pre-K through 5th to have free breakfast and lunch,” said Polk County School Superintendent Bill Miller. “We couldn’t do that at the middle and high school because we couldn’t afford it.”


An anonymous donor, through the Polk County Community Foundation, donated what Miller described as a significant amount, allowing the free lunch program to extend to Polk County Middle School.


“We’re very excited about that.” Miller said. “It helps out working families, those in poverty and everyone really.”


The Polk County Board of Education hopes to carry the momentum on to the high school and include its student body of approximately 700.


“Right now we are not allowed to add the high school, and we’re working on that,” said Miller.


Miller stated that he believes the anonymous donor would be interested in assisting.


“We’re off to a good start,” said Miller on the 2015-16 school year. “We’re very pleased with the new staff, and really excited about the lunch program.”


“We’re very thankful for the community foundation and the donor for making it happen,” he added.


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