I want to thank rural districts I serve for taking time to meet with me during the beginning of the school year and having valuable conversation around the important work of serving students and families in communities across Nevada. While some districts are beginning to utilize the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), and all students currently have access to free meals, seeking 100% submission of the Free and Reduced Lunch Application (FRL) remains crucial. The FRL application ensures schools identify students outside of the identified student population (ISP). These students are from families who receive benefits such as food assistance, Medicaid, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or if they are migrant, in foster care, or experiencing homelessness.When schools can identify students outside the ISP via the FRL application, they can continue their important outreach of offering resources and helping to link families to other benefits such as waiving testing, graduation, and course fees. They can open hygiene, pantry, and prom closets. These are a few resources I have heard about these past few months extended to families identified via the FRL application.
The Food Research and Action Center developed a toolkit and guide to share outreach strategies and communication resources. I hope you find these resources helpful, and they spark new ideas for your school district and community partners to ensure families have access to resources beyond school meals. Thank you and I look forward to our continued conversation around this topic.