City Schools offering free meals this summer at more than 120 sites

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Baltimore City Public Schools headquarters on North Avenue. Photo by Eli Pousson/Baltimore Heritage, via Flickr.

Baltimore City Public Schools will continue to provide free breakfast and lunch to students during the summer at more than 120 locations, the school system announced today.

At most of those, breakfast is served at either 8 a.m. or 8:30 a.m., with lunch following at 11:30 a.m. or noon. A complete list of locations and times can be found here, through the Maryland Summer Meals Site Search or by calling 211.

Starting today, the program runs Monday through Friday until Aug. 30 for students age 18 or younger, or age 19 with a mental or physical disability. Funding is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered by the Maryland State Department of Education.

According to data compiled by the state education department this year, 80 percent of Baltimore City Public Schools students were enrolled for free lunches in 2018, the most of any jurisdiction in the state. Somerset and Dorchester counties on the Eastern Shore were next on the list, with 77 percent and 70 percent of students, respectively, receiving free meals.

Starting in 2015, Baltimore City Public Schools began offering free breakfast and lunch to all students as part of a federal program created to lessen the stigma surrounding the free meals and create easier access for parents.

A 2018 report in The Sun found the program produced the unintended consequence of costing schools thousands of dollars in other types of federal funds because the system encourages undercounting the children of immigrants.

Brandon Weigel

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