Louisiana Added to Natl. Free or Reduced-Price School Lunch Plan
One of the most important things to know about the lunch kids are served in Louisiana schools is this: For a lot of kids across the state, this is the only meal of the day they can count on. No matter the circumstances that lead up to this sobering fact, it's important to remember. Now, imagine that a child comes from an extremely poor household that might have trouble coming up with the cash to pay for even these low-priced meals. That's the sad reality in a lot of places across the country. Thankfully, Louisiana won't be one of those places for the 2022-2023 school year.
Louisiana and 7 Other States are The Latest to Join the Free and/or Reduced Price Lunch Program
According to a report from US News and World Report, Louisiana is one of 8 states the The U.S. Department of Agriculture has added to a program they started in 2012 to make sure the kids who are most vulnerable to food insecurity will get their school lunch for free. Reportedly, if a child is covered by Medicaid - they are automatically enrolled in the initiative.
Louisiana will be welcomed as a newcomer to this program with 7 other states: Alabama, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina, and South Carolina. That brings the total of participating states to 26.
More Than a Million Kids Will Get Free or Reduced Price School Lunch Now that Louisiana Has Joined
According to the USDA, this latest move brings the number of kids certified for free meals across the nation to 1 million with more than 260,000 receiving reduced-price meals. While there have been several school systems in Louisiana that have made lunches free through a similar program made possible through state and federal grants (including Bossier Parish schools), this option hasn't open to every single school in the state until now.