HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — More than 170 Hillsborough County schools will offer free breakfast and lunch to students this school year.
School board officials said that students are eligible for the free meals as part of a federal reimbursement program called the Community Eligibility Provision.
The program is available where 40% or more of students are eligible to receive free and reduced lunch due to their family’s economic circumstances.
Officials said that more than 127,000 students will be eligible for free meals, making up about 84% of the county’s students.
“We listened to families who were worried about losing free lunches as part of the USDA reimbursement program during the pandemic. Our district wants to take the burden off parents by making it easier for students to gain access to healthy meals at school. While we celebrate the convenience, research also shows schools accessing this program report an increase in standardized test scores, attendance improvement, and various mental health benefits,” said Superintendent Addison Davis.
See a list of the 174 schools which qualify for the program below.
The schools not included in the program will still provide free breakfast to students.
In Hillsborough County, the cost of lunch for elementary school students is $2.25. The cost of lunch for middle and high school students is $2.75.
The first day of school in the county is Aug. 10.