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Newport Schools to Offer Meals to Students this Summer

The Newport Independent Schools has taken steps to provide free meals - breakfast and lunch - to any child age 18 and under this summer.

Newport schools Food Service Director Lisa Rizzo said she wants to ensure that no child goes hungry during the summer months.

"Many of our students and families rely on the nutritious meals served in our schools throughout the school year," Rizzo said. "Our summer feeding program is an effort to continue good nutrition year round to those students that may not receive it otherwise."

No registration or application is required. Funding for the program comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In efforts to minimize the potential exposure to the novel coronavirus, meals for the week are served on Monday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Newport Intermediate School, 95 W.9th St.

Students that live beyond walking distance to the school can also receive meals for the week through our van distribution. Families interested in receiving these meals can call the food service department at 859-292-3038  to set up delivery.

"Free, nutritious meals are not all that students lack when school is out," Rizzo said. "Appropriate reading materials, allocated time spent for reading, engagement in other literacy-based activities and additional support from teachers are all benefits of school that many students lose when out for the summer and especially now, during extended time away from school because of COVID-19.

Through the district's partnership with the Campbell County Public Library, Newport schools hope to ensure children continue reading and learning by providing materials and other helpful resources. 

Families with children are encouraged to stop by the Newport Branch of the Campbell County Library on Tuesday's between Noon and 1 p.m. In the parking lot of the branch - located at 901 E. 6th Street directly across the street from Newport High School - families can pick-up a free lunch, a book and other resources to help children stay engaged with learning this summer.

Newport students are also eligible for a benefit created due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) was approved as part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and benefits students who lost access to free school meals. This includes ALL Newport students because of the district's participation in the Community Eligibility Program (CEP).

Families already receiving SNAP benefits are not required to take any action to qualify for the benefit. They will automatically receive $313.50 in additional funds for each child to existing EBT cards.

Students who are receiving Medicaid or Kentucky Transitional Assistance Program (KTAP) or those that are in foster care will receive a card in the mail with instructions on how to receive the benefits.

Students not currently receiving SNAP benefits or don't meet the other criteria mentioned can still take advantage by completing a simple EBT application found here: https://benefind.ky.gov

The card can be used at any store or vendor that accepts EBT as payment through the end of November. 

-Staff report