Breakfast, lunch is now free to all students at 77 Atlanta Public Schools

National

FILE – In this Jan. 25, 2017, file photo, students fill their lunch trays at J.F.K Elementary School in Kingston, N.Y., where all meals are now free under the federal Community Eligibility Provision. A donor inspired by a tweet raised money to pay off lunch debt in districts around the country, as well as thousands of dollars in overdue lunch fees at other schools in the Kingston district. (AP Photo/Mary Esch, File)

ATLANTA (AP) — Students in 77 Atlanta public schools are getting free breakfast and lunch, no matter their family income.

News outlets report the no-cost meal service is expanding from 60 schools to 77 this year. All school’s using the district’s food service are eligible.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture provides federal reimbursements for meals under a program Congress authorized in 2010. To qualify, schools must show that at least 40% of students receive some type of aid like food stamps. The district says 49% of students meet those requirements.

The program has just started but the district anticipates high participation from students.

Superintendent Meria Carstarphen says student feedback on the quality of the food has been positive.

A Drew Charter School student described the cheese pizza to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as “melt-in-your-mouth.”

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