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California Launches Free School Lunch Program

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Sacramento, CA — Lunch will be free of charge for the 6.2-million California school students this coming fall.

State lawmakers are using surplus budget revenue to launch the largest free student lunch program in the country. Some cities like Boston, New York and Chicago already offer students free lunch, but California is the first to do so statewide.

Proponents say it will end a stigma for students who already get free lunch related to their family’s low income. In recent years, around 60-percent of students have qualified for a subsidized free lunch program.

The program is estimated to cost the state around $650-million annually.

The proposal was introduced by Democratic lawmakers and it was also supported by Republicans in the Senate Education Committee. Republican lawmakers noted it is a way to help Californians cope with the state’s increasing cost of living.

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