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This district deserves a gold star: Volusia continues to provide free meals to every kid

Photo: Pixabay
Photo: Pixabay

Volusia County Schools will continue to make breakfasts and lunches free for all kids, for the third year in a row, despite the ending of a federal waiver program. 

The program which provided free meals to all students throughout the US during the pandemic is ending. 

That means most families in Central Florida will have to apply if they want to qualify for free and reduced lunches. 

But Volusia County Schools is going to continue the free lunches. Director of School Way Cafe Heather DeMeola:

“And it just makes it easier for all students to have access to that nutritious meal which is so important for a good, healthy student.”

Her district applied for and received a special USDA Community Eligibility provision for lower-income areas. 

DeMeola says thanks to this provision, the cafeteria will continue to be as busy as always. And they could use more workers as the school year begins August 15th.

“We’re hiring. We make a positive impact on students every single day.”

She says those jobs start at $15 dollars an hour.

The announcement comes as other districts, including Seminole County Schools, have approved a price hike in cafeteria meals. 


Produced with assistance from the  Public Media Journalists Association Editor Corps funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

Danielle Prieur is WMFE's education reporter.
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