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Manatee schools ending free lunch for all program

FILE - School lunches in Manatee County will no longer be free from everyone, beginning in...
FILE - School lunches in Manatee County will no longer be free from everyone, beginning in August.(WWSB-TV)
Published: May. 17, 2022 at 7:24 AM EDT
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BRADENTON, Fla. (WWSB) - Free lunches for all students in Manatee County public schools will end in August because the federal program funding them is expiring, the Manatee County School District announced Monday.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture expanded its nutrition assistance program in response to COVID-19. Beginning Aug. 10, lunch meals will no longer be free for all students. However, breakfast meals will continue to be free for all students.

Students who qualify for free or reduced meal benefits based on direct certification or an approved 2022-23 meal benefit application will continue to receive meals at no or reduced costs. Students who are not eligible based on income will return to a full pay status.

Students enrolled at the Community Eligibility Program (CEP) schools listed below are eligible to receive a lunch at no charge:

CEP Elementary Schools: Abel Elementary, Ballard Elementary, Bayshore Elementary, Blackburn Elementary, Daughtrey Elementary, Manatee Elementary, Moody Elementary, Oneco Elementary, Palm View Elementary, Palmetto Elementary, Prine Elementary, Rogers Gardens-Bullock Elementary, Samoset Elementary, Sea Breeze Elementary and Tillman Elementary.

CEP Middle Schools: Lee Middle, Sugg Middle and Lincoln Memorial Academy

CEP High Schools: Bayshore High and Southeast High

CEP Alternative/Charter Schools: Horizons Academy, Just for Girls Elementary, Manatee School of the Arts and Sciences, Oasis Middle School and Visible Men Academy

Free or Reduced Meal Benefit Applications for the 2022-23 school year will be available July 1 at www.manateeschoolfood.net

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