School cafeteria (Image: Shutterstock)
School cafeteria (Image: Shutterstock)

More than 1.7 million Pennsylvania children enrolled in public schools, intermediate units, charter schools, career and technology schools, and child care institutions are eligible.

Gov. Tom Wolf announced a $21.5 million plan to provide universal free school breakfast for Pennsylvania students this school year.

The Universal Free Breakfast Program will go into effect on Oct. 1 and run through the end of the 2022-23 school year. More than 1.7 million Pennsylvania children enrolled in public schools, intermediate units, charter schools, career and technology schools, and child care institutions that participate in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs are eligible. 

“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.”

The program is funded by the School Food Services General Fund appropriation. 

Interested schools that do not currently participate in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs can apply on the Department of Education’s website.

“As a parent and grandparent myself, I know that there is nothing more important than our kids,” said Gov. Wolf. “This investment in free school breakfast for all is an investment in a better, healthier, happier life for our kids now and in the years to come.”