Students at Challand Middle School participate in the free lunch program in the CMS cafeteria.

At the start of the school year, Sterling Public Schools was proud to announce that SPS was going to offer free breakfast and free lunch to all our students. We wanted to provide our community with an update on the program.


Just to refresh your memory, Sterling Public Schools applied for, and was approved, to participate in the US Department of Agriculture’s 2019-2020 Community Eligibility Provision Program. This program provides ALL students in the District the opportunity to eat breakfast and lunch for free, each day, while school is in session. This program is funded with federal dollars, so no property tax or other local funds are used to support it.

How is it going so far?

The results for the beginning of the school year have been very positive.   The number of lunch meals we have served are up 11%, and the number of breakfast meals are up 20%. Lunch meals at the elementary schools have largely remained the same, but lunch meals at the middle school and high school have drastically increased.  We appreciate Aramark, our district’s food service provider, for working with us to allow this benefit for our students.

Why did we do this?

Studies have shown that a child learns better when he or she starts the day with breakfast. As I mentioned before, our breakfast meals are up by 20%, but we believe that can go even higher. Some parents and students are not aware that breakfast is available free of charge as well.  

What’s next?

We want to grow this opportunity for students, so our next steps are to promote this program to all families. We still have students who are not taking advantage of this opportunity, so if you are a SPS student who has not tried the free breakfast or lunch, we encourage you to do so. It saves families money and the student receives a nutritious meal. We consider it a win-win situation! 

If you should have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at

Tim Schwingle

Director of Finance