BROOKSVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Thanks to Hurricane Irma, all students in one Florida school system will qualify for free breakfast and lunch through 2022.
The Tampa Bay Times reports the federal Community Eligibility Provision program that offers meal assistance in low-income areas covered 17 of Hernando County's 25 schools last year. But because the area was deemed a disaster area after the 2017 storm, all schools there will now qualify for the free program. And that's regardless of students' individual economic needs.
School district food and nutrition services director Lori Drenth says after Irma the county's households qualified for the a short-term assistance program. Those enrollment numbers led to a spike in the percentage of students getting free meals.