North Carolina students who qualify for reduced-price meals at school will instead receive free meals for this upcoming school year, WFMY News 2 reports.
The free meals are being funded through the state’s budget. For the past two years, schools have been able to provide free meals to all students through a series of waivers issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. These particular waivers expired last month.
North Carolina is not the only state to include funding to cover reduced-price meals in its budget. Virginia students who qualify for reduced-price meals will also receive free school meals via state funding this coming year.
Some individual districts are also using state funds to continue to provide free meals. Metro Nashville Public Schools will use $7.5 million in federal coronavirus relief funds to offer free meals to all students. The funding will go toward the 31 schools in the district that don’t qualify for the Community Eligibility Provision, according to the Tennessean.