ATLANTA, Ga. — Students in 77 Atlanta schools will receive free breakfast and lunch this school year regardless of their family income.
Beginning this academic year, every student attending a district-run school or charter school that utilizes the district’s food service is eligible for the no-cost meal service, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Last year the 60 schools participated in the program and students provided positive feedback regarding the quality of the food. One student reportedly called the pizza “restaurant quality” another described it as “melt-in-your-mouth.”
This no-cost meal program is made possible through a federal grant that Atlanta Public Schools (APS) has used for a few years already.
To qualify for the federal program, 40% of students in a school district must receive food stamp benefits, homeless services or be enrolled in pre-kindergarten Head Start programs. 49% of Atlanta students reportedly met those requirements.
The district received about $23.2 million in reimbursements for its meal program last year and is expected to receive enough money in reimbursements this year to cover the cost of the growing program.
APS is also working to devise a way for parents to donate money they would have normally spent on their child’s lunch to support other district problems supporting students in need.