California Grants Free School Lunch for All Public School Students

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July 19, 2021

California is launching the nation's largest free school lunch program.

The state has America's largest population overall and the largest public school population, at more than 6 million. When those students return to their school buildings in the fall, they will all have access to school lunch without having to pay, thanks to a large infusion from the state government.

Federal rules for qualification involve a dollar amount based on defined poverty rules. California officials said that about 60 percent of the state's students already qualified.

Some large U.S. cities, like Boston and Chicago and New York, have such programs in place. California became the first state to so implement. Maine quickly followed suit.

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