Hunger Free Schools Act begins in Md.
A program allowing free meals for students in low-income families could expand in an effort to erase the stigma some students feel.
Under the Hunger Free Schools Act, Maryland schools state-wide can apply to participate in the Community Eligibility Program effective June 1.
Schools with at least 40% of their students from low-income families can qualify for free meals for the entire student body.
47 ABC spoke to Delegate Keith Haynes, a chief sponsor of the legislation, who says this measure is important because in the past, some students who qualify for free and reduced price meals have opted out.
“So they choose not to participate because of that stigma, and so this total removes that embarrassment and that stigma away because from this program, everyone gets it.” Says Delegate Haynes.
Schools in Somerset County already participate in a free-meal program that serves the entire student body. According Leo Lawson, supervisor of public relations, that program will be continuing this fall.
Meanwhile, an official from Wicomico County Public Schools says they’re considering a pilot program for select schools in the county starting fall 2015 but an official decision has not yet been reached.