Thanks to the federal government’s USDA Community Eligibility Provision, every elementary student in Tulsa Public Schools will be offered a free breakfast and lunch with no strings attached.
Under the new federal program, parents and guardians can get free or reduced-cost breakfast or lunch without income requirements. They still must apply at the beginning of the school year.
In the 2010-2011 school year, 61 percent (338,781) of students in public schools were eligible for free and reduced fee lunches. That rose to 62 percent (366,677) during the last school year.
Statewide, public education provided 43 million free lunches and 25 million free breakfasts plus nine million reduced-price meals. That was a total of about 72 million free and reduced-price meals statewide in the 2015 school year.
The program has been funded for five years by the federal government, which has incurred more than $19,000,000,000,000.00 in the national debt.