Saturday, December 2, 2023

This public school district is offering free meals for all students

NEWPORT NEWS — The school district here will now offer free meals to all students starting this fall.

“It’s always been a priority that students have meal services,” said Michelle Price, spokeswoman for Newport News Public Schools. “Many families may run out of time in the morning to fix a nutritious meal [for their children].”

Price said all students in grades pre-K through 12th will be eligible for free meals such as breakfast and lunch, regardless of his or her families’ socioeconomic status.

This isn’t the first time the school district has offered free meals to students. In the past, NNPS has offered free breakfast to all students and in recent years, free or reduced lunch to students who qualify through the school district’s partnership with the Community Eligibility Provision program.

The CEP, which falls under the U.S. Department of Agriculture, allows schools and local educational agencies located in low-income areas to provide free breakfast and lunch to all students and eliminates the burden of collecting household applications to determine eligibility for school meal programs, according to the program’s frequently asked questions page.

In the 2018-2019 school year, 12,799 Newport News public school students or about 45 percent of the public school student population were eligible or received free or discounted lunch.

RELATED STORY: How many students receive free lunch in Hampton Roads?

“It’s actually a separate fund,” Price said, adding the funds do not come through the school district or the state government.”

In addition, the school district will provide all students who attend after-school activities a free afternoon snack or meal, Price added.

While the district will provide the same meals to students free of charge, the division will be eligible for reimbursement through the CEP program.

Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

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