New Maryland law taking effect on free school meals

BALTIMORE (AP) -- A new Maryland law will enable an entire school to qualify for free breakfast and lunch, instead of only individual students.

Del. Keith Haynes, a Baltimore Democrat who sponsored a bill this year, is scheduled to announce the enactment of The Hunger Free Schools Act of 2015 on Tuesday in Baltimore.

The new law allows schools to participate in the Community Eligibility Program, which provides for a school-based qualification, instead of an individual-based qualification for free meals.

Haynes says the new program will bring federal dollars into the school systems that opt to use it.

Schools that have at least 40 percent of their students who are low-income will qualify for free meals across the board.

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