Coronavirus has forced Mississippi schools to close until at least April 17, which leaves thousands of students without meals they depend on.
Nationwide, children who receive public assistance or live in homes with household income below 130 percent of the poverty level qualify for free lunch; as an example, about $34,000 for a family of four. Families between 130 percent and 185 percent of the poverty level qualify for a reduced price lunch. This school year, 74 percent of public school students qualify for free or reduced lunch, according to data obtained by Mississippi Today.
While school buildings may be closed, districts across the state are continuing to offer meals on a “grab-and-go” basis, meaning any child under 18 can get a free meal. In some cases, districts are delivering meals along bus routes and at some sites, adults can purchase a lunch for a couple of dollars too.
Mississippi Today compiled a list of sites offering free meals for students: