Few Va. Schools Participate in New Meal Program - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Few Va. Schools Participate in New Meal Program

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP)- Few public schools in Virginia are participating in a new federal meal program for students.

The program makes free breakfast and lunch available to all students in schools or districts where at least 40 percent of students qualified for free lunch.

Nearly a quarter of Virginia's 1,827 public schools were eligible to participate this year. Only 86 schools signed up, including 44 in Richmond.

School officials cite several concerns about the program, including implementation and costs. Another concern is the loss of free and reduced-price meal data. The data have been a national indicator of poverty in schools.

Norfolk has implemented the program in eight of the city's 52 schools. Helen Phillips with Norfolk Public Schools says the initial response has been positive.

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