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EBR public schools still to feed students over summer despite state refusal of summer EBT program

3 months 2 days 15 hours ago Thursday, February 22 2024 Feb 22, 2024 February 22, 2024 4:47 PM February 22, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Some children may be without daily meals soon, since Louisiana is not accepting the USDA's summer EBT program. However, East Baton Rouge students will still be fed over the summer, and Dr. Nichola Hall of EBR Public Schools says its program won't change. 

"Summer meals existed prior to the summer EBT program, it's always been around and It is a great way to make sure the kids are being continually fed even when school is out of session," Hall said.

The total food cost is around $292,000. The school system is partnering with One Rouge Coalition and Healthy BR to make it happen through grants and donations. Healthy BR's Hope Hickerson says their organization plans to run a marketing strategy to inform people, while Pepper Roussel with One Rouge Coalition said their organization's goal is to "foster an inclusive community culture for equitable opportunities for all people in Baton Rouge."

About 25,000 students in East Baton Rouge are eligible for free meals. Last summer, 85 sites were set up, and this year, the goal is to reach even more students.

Food insecurity can affect concentration, memory, mood, and motor skills, all of which a child needs to be able to be successful in school.

"We say we want children to be successful and do well in school, but how can they do that if they're not eating or if they're hungry?", Roussel said. "There's no way to do that. There's an old African proverb -- if you want to go fast you go alone, if you want to go far go together. That's exactly what we're doing; we are going far and we are going together." 

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