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Virginia's 2-year budget includes funding to make reduced-price meals free

The budget allots $8.2 million to eliminate the cost of school breakfast and lunch for kids who qualify for reduced-price meals.
Students eating lunch in the cafeteria.
Photo: Shutterstock

Students in Virginia who qualify for reduced-price meals at school will enjoy free meals for the next two years under new funding included in the state budget, ABC 8 News reports

Earlier this month, Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed Virginia’s latest budget, which includes $8.2 million to eliminate the cost of school breakfast and lunch to kids who qualify for reduced-price meals. 

An additional 64,000 students will now receive free school meals, according to No Kid Hungry Virginia.

School nutrition programs have been able to provide free meals to all students over the past two years through a series of school nutrition waivers issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The waivers were set to expire at the end of June, causing some states to look at using state funding to continue providing free meals to kids. 

At the federal level, President Biden last month signed the Keep Kids Fed Act into law, which provides school nutrition programs with higher meal reimbursements and extended some of the pandemic-era waivers; however, it does not include funding for universal free meals. 

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