Free meals for all Detroit schoolchildren in fall - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Free meals for all Detroit schoolchildren in fall

DETROIT (AP) - All Detroit Public Schools students from kindergarten through 12th grade will get free breakfast, lunch and snacks starting with the fall semester under a federal pilot program.

The district announced the program Tuesday, saying the goal is to "ensure all children receive healthy meals."

Most Detroit schoolchildren also meet income rules for free lunch.

The district says the free meals are part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Community Eligibility Option Program. Officials say Michigan, Illinois and Kentucky are the states selected to participate in the pilot program for the 2011-12 school year.

Districts in Michigan can participate if at least 40% of their students are entitled to public assistance.

District chief operating officer Mark Schrupp says some students would skip free meals "to avoid being identified as low-income."

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