RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia will be introducing free school meals for students who qualify for reduced-price lunches under the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program.

According to No Kid Hungry Virginia, this section of Virginia’s new budget will allow more than 64,500 Virginia children to get access to free meals during the school year. The budget includes $8.2 million over the next two years.

No Kid Hungry VA said that students whose families have incomes between 130 and 185 percent of the poverty level can submit meal application to their school divisions at the beginning of the school year.

The Keep Kids Fed Act was also passed by federal lawmakers in June, which will help nutrition teams operate more effectively, according to No Kid Hungry VA. This act will continue through this summer until the end of the 2022-2023 school year.

According to No Kid Hungry Virginia, the Keep Kids Fed Act:

  • Allows for flexibilities such as grab-and-go delivery distributions to continue through the summer of 2022
  • Cancels financial penalties for food substitutions caused by supply chain issues
  • Increases meal reimbursements for schools and meal program operators

No Kid Hungry said that 92% of school districts across the country face difficulty with sourcing the food they need because of continuous delivery disruptions. 75% report staffing challenges.

Meals at summer sites are free for all children 18-years-old or younger, according to No Kid Hungry Virginia.

Text FOOD or COMIDA to 304-304 to find free meals this summer.