Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Family income not a factor as students eat free

The government program provides free lunches in schools that qualify, regardless of a student’s family income. The idea is to erase a stigma.

Associated Press

The government program provides free lunches in schools that qualify, regardless of a student’s family income. The idea is to erase a stigma.

Some students toted lunchboxes to the first day of school in Boston this week, but district administrators are expecting that could become a more unusual sight as parents learn about a federal program that is providing all public school students in the city with free breakfast and lunch.

The nation's oldest school system has joined a program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that has spread to 10 states and the District of Columbia that offers students two free meals every school day, whether or not their families can afford them.

Known as Community Eligibility Option, the program is part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 that authorized $4.5 billion in new program funding. For schools to qualify, federal officials said, more than 40 percent of students have to be getting food stamps or aid through certain other federal assistance programs.

Besides easing hunger, school officials said, the program helps erase a stigma that plagued some students from poor families.

Boston joins schools in Detroit, Atlanta, Washington and elsewhere in a program that will be available across the country starting in the 2014-2015 school year.

Efrain Toledano, principal of the Maurice J. Tobin School in Boston's Roxbury section, said he expects the program will cut down on potential disruptions at the K-8 school by easing hunger pangs that could be linked to classroom misbehavior. "We know that calm stomachs means calm students who are ready to learn in classrooms," he said.

Jim Weill, president of the nonprofit Food Research and Action Center in Washington, said the program saves schools money because it's less expensive to feed more students than to do paperwork for children who qualify for free or reduced price meals.

Family income not a factor as students eat free 09/06/13 [Last modified: Friday, September 6, 2013 10:19pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Former Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote said his son Cal lived in the locker room.

    Cal Foote, second from left, is welcomed to the Lightning by GM Steve Yzerman, far left.
  2. It's Rays' turn to pound Orioles pitching (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG - Ah, the fantastic four.

    The Rays smashed the reeling Orioles 15-5 on Friday, scoring a season-high in runs, to climb four games above .500 for the first time since July 1, 2015.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria scores on a triple by Logan Morrison during the first inning against the Orioles.
  3. Lightning picks defenseman Cal Foote

    Blogs

    Cal Foote is the son of former Avs defenseman Adam Foote.
  4. Kids today: They don't work summer jobs the way they used to

    Business

    WASHINGTON — It was at Oregon's Timberline Lodge, later known as a setting in the horror movie The Shining, where Patrick Doyle earned his first real paycheck.

    Teens Ben Testa, from left, Hannah Waring and Abby McDonough, and Wegmeyer Farms owner Tyler Wegmeyer walk the strawberry rows at the Hamilton, Va., farm in late May.
  5. Jeb Bush back in the hunt for the Marlins, now opposing Derek Jeter

    Blogs

    Associated Press:

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has switched sides in pursuit of the Miami Marlins, and he’s trying to beat out former teammate Derek Jeter.