Marion County public schools offer free meals to all students

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Posted January 8, 2021 | Ocala Gazette Staff

All middle and high school students in Marion County Public Schools will now receive free school meals, according to the school system.

The new effort is paid for through the United States Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program.

Elementary students already receive free meals under the USDA National School Lunch Breakfast Program. The addition of secondary students allows for more students to regularly receive nutritious meals and for the district to recoup costs associated with meal service, according to a press release.

Marion County public schools serve an average of 14,000 breakfasts and 21,000 lunches every day. During the first 10 weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, the district provided nearly 475,000 student meals, according to the school system.

Curbside school meals are also available at 10 locations to children 18 and under regardless of income.

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