This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
For students in the Philadelphia School District, there is such a thing as a free lunch.
Starting this fall, the School District of Philadelphia will serve free breakfasts and lunches to all students, waiving the need for parents to submit a paper application proving their income is low enough to qualify.
The District’s division of food services has transitioned to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision — which allows districts that serve predominantly low-income students to discard the paper application.
According to an official release, the District anticipates that benefits will include "better access to school meals by easing the strain on household budgets, reducing the paperwork burden on families and eliminating the stigma associated with the free lunch program."