School Nutrition

Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT)
P-EBT provides food assistance benefits on a debit-like Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card to North Carolina families whose school-aged children are eligible to receive free or reduced-price meals at school, but who have not been able to access those meals because they have been in virtual learning instruction at least some of the time due to COVID-19. The P-EBT benefits will be electronically placed on the EBT card monthly and can be used to purchase food items at EBT authorized food or grocery retailers, including most major grocery stores. See more info linked below.
P-EBT Flyer (Enligsh)
P-EBT Infographic (English)
P-EBT Frequently Asked Questions (English)
P-EBT Flyer (Spanish)
P-EBT Frequently Asked Questions (Spanish)

The May order form is available for anyone interested in ordering FREE lunches for your in-person students. Ordering cut-off will be Thursday mornings at 9:30 AM for the following week.

Our School Food Evolution

Great students run on great food — and Central Park is redefining what great school food means!

Here at Central Park, we are committed to equity and justice for all, from our students here in Durham to people around the globe. In order to sustain our commitment to holistic learning, we are embarking on a journey of delicious discovery to support student growth and success through a new approach to school food.

Our Vision

A school meal program that feeds students’ minds and bodies. We continue to strive to:

  • Develop and sustain a model nutrition program supporting our school's mission of nurturing and developing the whole child.
  • Offer healthful lunches with delicious, fresh, local foods to help all of our students gain the benefits of excellent nutrition.
  • Bring together students and staff around food, while learning more about what healthy foods look and taste like.

We are proud of the success of the lunch program over the last few years. Our program has been nationally recognized for its innovation and focus on whole, fresh fruits and vegetables, and freshly prepared entrees, with minimal processed foods. We were sponsored by The Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine and presented at the 2017-18 National Conference for the School Nutrition Association, highlighting our large array of, and commitment to inclusion of, vegan offerings. Most importantly, the students enjoy the food! During the 2018-19 school year, we served over 31,000 lunches. That was our third year as a part of the National School Lunch program, and CPSC received close to $70,000 that year in reimbursement funds to help offset the cost to the school of providing student lunches.

We continue to benefit from a nutrition director with over 30 years of school food service, who oversees our programs and ensures that we maintain support for a triple bottom line: people (our students, staff, farmers, producers), planet (from Durham to the world), and budget (paying our chefs, catering staff, farmers, and producers equitably within the confines of USDA school meal reimbursement — yes, it can be done).

We’re again working with a local chef and caterer, Ashlyn Smith of Spicy Green Gourmet, utilizing delicious recipes that support student growth and protect the planet. Spicy Green is committed to 100% whole-grain rich foods, no artificial food dyes, and locally sourced foods when feasible. Spicy Green is excited to provide us with delicious daily meals, including tasty vegetarian, vegan and other hot lunch options.

We’re still supported by nutrition and research professionals to expand our commitment to good food at lunch and throughout the school day.

And we’re working with you, Central Park families, to make this happen. Thank you for your trust in serving your children! Questions? Contact our Nutrition Coordinator, Nadine Blake, at or 919-682-1200 x251.

Lunch Ordering

CPSC is offering meals at no charge for all in-person students, regardless of free/reduced lunch eligibility, as part of the special Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) for the 2020-21 school year. We are no longer offering curbside pick-up options. Note that children should only receive one meal type per student each day across SFSP sites. The May order form is available for anyone interested in ordering FREE lunches for your in-person students. Ordering cut-off will be Thursday morning at 9:30 AM for the following week..

We thank you for supporting our lunch program and hope that you will continue to participate. Your participation helps us to continue providing fresh, nutritious meals to our students and the Durham community. Moreover, your support allows us to keep on supporting our local business partner, Spicy Green Gourmet.

Contact our nutrition team with any questions or concerns:, 919-682-1200 x251

Free & Reduced Lunch

Central Park is again part of the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) this year. All families who believe they are eligible for free or reduced lunch benefits are encouraged to read the parent letter and complete the 2020-21 free and reduced application. You can now apply ONLINE by visiting and selecting Central Park as your school district. Paper applications are available to print (English Application, Spanish Application) and can also be picked up at either school office. FAQs, income charts, and instructions are available as part of the parent letter. Additionally there is an optional portion of the form which allows you to indicate if you would like your approved status shared with other programs in order to receive additional benefits beyond free or reduced lunch prices (e.g. before school/after school discounts, food pantry assistance).


A vanilla soy alternative can be provided once a milk substitution form is submitted (English, Spanish).

See the online ordering form or the paper ordering form (English, Spanish) for more information and to get signed up.

Questions, comments, concerns? Email or call 919-682-1200 x251.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, religious creed, disability, age, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: How to File a Complaint, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

  1. mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
    1400 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
  2. fax: (202) 690-7442; or
  3. email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

This page (School Nutrition) last updated May 12, 2021