DEXTER, N.Y. (WWTI) — Free breakfast and lunch would be a welcomed change for families and through a state provision it’s now offered in some schools.

Recently, the New York State Education Department released its Community Eligibility Provision. Which permits free meals in schools that have at least 40% of students enrolled in social services.

Such as the General Brown Central School District.

“So we’re at roughly 43%,” GBCSD Superintendent Brian Moore said. “Because we’re over that threshold, we’re now eligible to provide free lunch and free breakfast for four years to all students.”

According to NYSED, the Community Eligibility Provision is a valuable alternative for schools in high-poverty areas.

It also has alleviated debt for food service programs like General Brown, that faced issues when families were unable to pay their lunch bills.

“Traditionally, schools like ours tend to run in the deficit when it comes to school lunches,” Moore explained. “Because we’re not asking for any money from any of our families or taxpayers for this program, we’ll be able to take some of the money that we were using to support our cafeteria operations to improve them now.”

Moore added that it will also make a big difference for the families in the District who struggle to afford meals.

“One thing that every single person can get behind is free lunches, free breakfast for kids,” he expressed. “So the fact that the General Brown Central School District is able to provide that now is a wonderful thing for our community. Our kids are going to come to school knowing there’s something ready for them to eat.”

This program will begin on General Brown’s first day of the 2023-2024 school year; Thursday, September 7, 2023.