Wake County Public School System announced that breakfast and lunch will be free for the 2021-2022 school year.
Many families were hit hard during the pandemic; free breakfast and lunch allows students to eat while some families are struggling.
Marquise Webb, a sophomore at Leesville, said over text that lunch should be free every year: “It takes off pressure from families to worry about their kids eating at school.”
In a normal school year, only students in a certain income bracket qualify for free or reduced lunch. Offering free lunch takes the stress off families who don’t qualify to keep student’s accounts filled, especially if they barely didn’t qualify.
Offering free school breakfast and lunch can help combat food insecurity, stigmas and improve focus and behavioral issues.
According to the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), offering free or reduced lunch reduces food insecurity by 3.8% and food insecurity among children is higher in the summer when school breakfast and lunch aren’t available.
Students can also focus better when they have proper nourishment. The FRAC reports, “Children experiencing hunger are more likely to be hyperactive, absent, and tardy, in addition to having [more] behavioral and attention problems.”
Everyone needs to eat, and free breakfast and lunch will benefit everyone — no matter their socioeconomic status.