WACO, TX — Every Waco ISD student will be able to eat breakfast and lunch for free in the upcoming school year, no household application required.
The news comes after the district's application under the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Community Eligibility Provision was approved.
The provision allows schools in high poverty areas to serve students breakfast and lunch free of charge.
La Vega ISD was also accepted into the new federal program.
With over 85 percent of students in the district qualifying for free or reduced lunches in the 2016-17 school year, Waco ISD Superintendent Dr. Marcus Nelson said making sure students have regular access to food is critical to classroom performance.
"Too many of our students face challenges outside the classroom that impede their ability to succeed in the classroom," Nelson said. "Food insecurity is one of those. We can't expect our students to focus on learning if they're hungry and don't know where their next meal will come from."
Waco ISD spokesperson Kyle DeBeer said the new program won't mean a new line in the budget, as the school will be reimbursed for the meals.