ANDERSON COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) — All Anderson 3 students can receive free breakfast and lunch beginning in the 2023-2024 school year.

The program will run for at least four years.

The district qualified for the program after the U.S. Department of Agriculture changed its Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) program guidelines, allowing more students to qualify for free meals.

“It’s a game changer,” Dylan McCullough, the district’s chief communications officer, said. “A lot of our students do qualify for free or reduced-priced lunch. But, there are a lot of students and families that are right there at that cusp of making it and still have to pay even though they are right there at the cutoff line. For those, especially, it’s going to make a huge difference.”

According to the district, 60% – 70% of its students are in need of this support.

“We do have a higher poverty index in our area,” Christy Dodd, the principal of Flat Rock Elementary School, said. “This program will give our families security and a safety net for our students.”

Dodd said the program will help her students grow and succeed.

“We’ll be able to make sure that we’re providing nutritious meals twice a day for all of our students,” she said. “The impact that has carries over into the classroom. Students who are fed well perform well in class.”

Other districts offering free meals next school year

  • Anderson School District 5 will offer free meals to all students
  • 82 Greenville County schools will offer free meals to its students