Some excellent news right here, Berkshire County! It concerns the upcoming 2022-2023 school year and it's beneficial for both students and parents all across the Bay State.

Thanks to Governor Charlie Baker, Massachusetts will once again provide free school meals for all students for the upcoming academic year. I told you it was excellent news.

Governor Baker just signed a one-year extension of the free lunch program that allows kids to eat meals at no cost, making Massachusetts now the fifth state to provide free lunch(and breakfast if the school provides it) for the 2022-2023 school year.

And this free lunch program will be available at all public and most charter schools in Massachusetts. But hey, what about if your child is in quarantine due to exposure to COVID-19? Great question!

The free meals will be accessible to students who are in quarantine in all school districts. Your child's school will be happy to give you all the details if you give them a call.

Project Bread, an organization that provides access to reliable sources of food to communities across Massachusetts, supports the program. In a media statement, Erin McAleer, CEO and President of Project Bread, weighed in on the matter:

This is a moment in time when all our eyes have been opened to the vast disparities faced by the children of Massachusetts when accessing the resources needed to be healthy and learn. While the road to equity is long and complex, this extension of School Meals for All is a straightforward and significant step in ensuring students are ready to learn next year.

For more information about Project Bread or the free breakfast and lunch program, visit their website here.

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