The Philadelphia School District will begin serving universal free lunch to students under USDA's Community Eligibility Provision. The 17th largest district in the country by enrollment, according to last year's FM K-12 Power Players listing, Philadelphia Schools has offered breakfast at no cost to all schools for the past four years.
Since 1991, approximately 175 schools have participated in a universal lunch program where all students were able to receive free lunch without completing paperwork. Under the new program, an estimated 85 schools will join their ranks.
During the 2013-14 school year, more than 27 million meals were served, including dinner as part of afterschool programs at approximately 100 school meal sites.
“Our goal is to provide as many students as possible with access to healthy, nutritious meals,” says Dr. William R. Hite, Superintendent. “We want to keep students’ focus on learning, not hunger.”