Pennsylvania Will Offer Free Breakfast To 1.7 Million Students

With more and more Pennsylvania households struggling to keep up with rising inflation, the commonwealth will begin offering school students free breakfast next month.

PENNSYLVANIA STATE | On Sept. 9, 2022, Governor Tom Wolf announced a new $21.5 million plan that will provide nearly every school student in the commonwealth with universal free school breakfast. The program is funded with $21.5 million remaining from last year’s School Food Services General Fund appropriation and will affect approximately 1.7 million students enrolled in public schools, intermediate units, charter schools, career and technology schools, and child care institutions participating in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. 

“It is completely unacceptable for a child to start the day hungry,” said Gov. Wolf. “I’m taking hunger off the table for Pennsylvania kids by creating the Universal Free Breakfast Program. Regardless of whether or not they qualify for free or reduced meals normally, every student enrolled in public or private schools will have the opportunity to feed their belly before they feed their mind this school year.”

“It takes a village to tackle an issue as important and impactful as food security for our children. Keeping students fed, nourished, and ready to learn is vital to their health and education,” said Sen. Williams. “These investments in school meals relieve the pressure on our families as grocery prices rise and ensure that all students can access nutritious food without shame or stigma. I’m grateful for all of the work being done to keep students from going hungry.”

The Universal Free Breakfast Program will take effect Oct. 1, 2022, and run throughout the 2022-23 school year. Schools interested in joining the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs can apply here.