Some students know what it’s like to go through the school-day without lunch. This year, Lee County schools is providing lunch and breakfast at no additional cost to students at all 79 schools in the district.
Ninth-grade student Billy Donahue describes what it’s like when he’s hungry, “You feel tired, you feel sluggish, you’re not really learning you just want to take a nap…”
The initiative is through the Food and Nutrition Services Department Community Eligibility Provision.
“For kids that don’t have that much money, for them to get a free lunch is just amazing,” said Billy’s mom, Amber Donahue.
School officials say making breakfast and lunch free will help students learn and take away the stigma that sometimes comes along with being enrolled in the reduced lunch program, and parents agree, “It’s important. I’ve been there. I know there were times where I couldn’t afford it so it would have been great but for those who can’t afford it, it helps,” added parent Danielle Crockett.
Students say it will help make sure food is always available for them even if things go wrong.
Lunch trays will also have more local food items that change every day.
Lauren Couchois, Food and Nutrition Services says, “We are getting foods from the farms that are close to us… we also work with farms and dairies to make sure our dairy is local, and our bread is local as well.”
Keeping lunches local and every student full.
There’s no need to enroll or apply for the program, the free meals will simply be available at all schools in Lee County.
In addition to free lunches, you can browse lunch menus by school location below: