BANGOR — To help fight hunger in Maine, public schools across the state will provide free meals to all students regardless of their parents’ income.
During the pandemic, the federal government created a waiver for school breakfast and lunch programs to be free in order to help struggling families.
Bangor Superintendent James Tager said the waiver was extended through the 2021-2022 school year.
Earlier this year, Gov. Janet Mills signed the revised fiscal budget for 2022-2023, which would also make school breakfast and national school lunch programs available at no cost.
Tager said students must fill out a free and reduced lunch application form to get access.
“I think the fact we have free meals for all our students is so important and valuable. We have such a need in our community,” said Tager. “But I think the other side of it with us losing some title dollars if our schools are 40 percent free reduced lunch we can receive extra dollars which can pay for after school programs.”
Tager said Bangor School Department is allocating $155,000 in funds to help with the meal program.
He said they normally would have used that money for after-school programs.