Detroit Evening Report: Universal free meal program for Michigan students officially in state budget

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Michigan public schools will offer free meals to all preschool through high school students this upcoming school year.

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State lawmakers approved up to $160 million in state funds for free breakfast and lunch for all pre-K through 12 public schools in Michigan. The free meals come a year after the federal government ended a pandemic-era program that offered free school meals for all students regardless of income.

Michigan is just one of seven U.S. states to offer free lunches to public school students. Lawmakers approved an additional $25 million to ensure schools can start these universal free meals at the beginning of the 2023-2024 school year.

Free breakfast and lunch will available to pre-school students in the state’s Great Start Readiness Program and every grade through 12th.

Students in special education programs will be eligible until the age of 26.

Parents and guardians won’t need to opt-in their children for the free meals program, but school districts will ask for household income information.

Other headlines for Aug. 3, 2023:

  • Michigan Library Association launches campaign against book bans
  • Focus: HOPE hosting “Thrive by Five” program to help parents and toddlers
  • Motown legend Smokey Robinson headlining Fox Theatre this weekend

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  • Hernz Laguerre
    Hernz Laguerre Jr. is a Multimedia Journalist at 101.9 WDET. He is one of the co-host for "Detroit Evening Report," one of the weekend anchors for "Weekend Edition," the producer for our political podcast, "MichMash," and reports on arts, culture and politics.