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Virginia families encouraged to submit free meals application

Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow is encouraging families to submit free meal applications to their child’s school. Locally, only families who have students attending Bethel Elementary, Peasley Middle and Gloucester High schools have to apply as all other public schools in Gloucester and Mathews counties already provide meals at no cost.

Virginia is expanding eligibility for free meals for the 2022-2023 school year through funding provided by the General Assembly in the state budget. Students with families at or below 185 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible for free meals.

Emergency federal flexibility that allowed free meals for all students during the COVID-19 pandemic expired at the end of the 2021-2022 school year. Many Virginia schools now require applications and use family income to determine eligibility for free or reduced-cost meals.

Students are automatically eligible for free meals if anyone in their household receives benefi...

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