All elementary and middle school students who attend Brunswick County public schools will receive breakfast and lunch at no cost. The School Board unanimously approved the implementation of a federally funded program that will provide the service.
The meals are federally funded through a provision of the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act. The schools had enough students enrolled in a nutrition assistance program and the free or reduced lunch program to qualify.
Brunswick County Nutrition Director Tina Ward said she is very pleased with the board's decision.
"It targeted families in need, and it's all about the children," Ward explained.
Ward also said this program is great for the schools because they no longer have to worry about the debt of students who eat the school lunch, but cannot afford to pay for it. Right now, more than $40,000 is owed for school lunches just from the middle and high schools in Brunswick County.
"It removes the stigma that some children feel of having what they called ‘free meals.' This levels the playing field, all children get to enjoy their meals, and that stigma is gone," Ward said.
Ward added that children will get the nutrition they lack, which could improve attendance and test scores.
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