Leon County Schools to offer free meals for all students for 2021-2022 school year

Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 10:51 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Leon County Schools announced Thursday that all students will be eligible for free lunch in the upcoming school year.

LCS Director of Nutrition services Christie Meresse said all elementary schools in the district and a few others schools were already receiving free lunch under the community eligibility provision. Six schools did not qualify.

However, at the end of last school year, the USDA extending its waiver eligibility, making it possible for all students to be included in the program.

“We felt it was really important to have all of those families be able to take advantage of meals in our cafeterias for both breakfast, lunch and snacks,” said Meresse.

The free meals will only apply to the 2021-2022 school year and the six new schools covered under the extension will have to resume parent applications for free and reduced lunch when the year is up.

Meresse said with so many households impacted by the pandemic, and some struggling to provide, taking care of meals throughout the school day is a good way to show families that the district has their back.

“It’s really important that we are able to step in and fill part of some of the gaps there that they may be facing and make it a little bit easier for them each day,” she said.

Schools were providing bagged lunches during the pandemic, but officials said in the upcoming year students will go back to receiving hot meals.

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