LA PUENTE, CA – Bassett Unified School District provides free breakfast and lunch to more than 3,600 students as part of a federal nutrition program designed to improve student performance.

Bassett Unified, being designated as a National School Lunch Program (NSLP) Provision 2 District, has offered meals to its entire student body at no charge since Sept. 1, reducing the stigma faced by students who rely on the free or reduced lunch program. Approximately 86 percent of its student population qualified for free or reduced meal plans before being designated as a Provision 2 District.

“Students need balanced, healthy meals in order to reach their full potential,” Edgewood Academy Principal Rhonda Lentz said. “I am so proud to work for a district that sees the importance of this and has worked tirelessly to bring the best opportunities to our students.”

The NSLP is administrated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service, providing federal reimbursement for districts with students who qualify for the National School Lunch program. The lunch program comes with alternative provisions to the eligibility requirements.

Provision 2 is a four-year program where all students at a school district can receive meals at no cost. During year one – the base year – the District continues to collect applications and record meal counts. For the remaining three years, the District will not be required to make eligibility determinations. After four years, the District can re-apply to continue the program.

The program will streamline the administrative process of implementing a school lunch program, which will save money and reduce paperwork.

“One of Bassett Unified’s top priorities is providing an environment that allows our children to excel in the classroom,” Interim Superintendent Debra French said. “Providing meals at no cost to every student eliminates a distraction that can greatly effect a student’s performance.”