Free lunch and breakfast will be available every single day for every student in 77 Atlanta public schools, no matter their family income.
Starting this year, every student who attends Atlanta public schools that uses the district’s food service is eligible for no-cost school meals. With nearly 52,000 students as of March, that comes out to more than a half-million free meals available every week.
The school system said the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides federal reimbursements for meals under the Community Eligibility Provision program. To qualify, schools must show that 40 percent or more of students receive some type of aid like food stamps, homeless services, or participation in the Pre-K Headstart program. The district reported 49% of students met those requirements.
It’s still early in the school year, but the district anticipates high participation from students.
Superintendent Meria Carstarphen said student feedback about the quality of the meals has been positive and pizza is already among the most-popular entrees this month.
A Drew Charter School student on a recent school day confirmed that and called the cheese pizza, “melt-in-your-mouth.”