HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Thirty public schools will serve free lunch to all students in the coming school year, as part of a program aimed at addressing childhood hunger.
The free meal program started as a pilot program in seven Hawaii public schools this year.
Under the program, all students get free meals, even those who don't qualify for free lunch reimbursements. By expanding the pilot, the state plans to reach about 17,000 students, from 1,700 this school year.
"We are pleased to be able to expand this program to more schools and include nearly every island with free meals," schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi said, in a news release. "We've heard from parents in this year's pilot project who say the program was a tremendous help for their families."
The 23 additional schools being added to the program in the coming school year are:
- Kekaha Elementary
- Kau High & Pahala Elementary
- Keaau Elementary
- Keaau High
- Keaau Middle
- Keonepoko Elementary
- Naalehu Elementary
- Pahoa Elementary
- Pahoa High
- Hana High & Elementary
- Lanai High & Elementary
- Leihoku Elementary
- Maili Elementary
- Makaha Elementary
- Nanaikapono Elementary
- Nanakuli Elementary
- Nanakuli High & Intermediate
- Olomana School
- Pope Elementary
- Waianae Elementary
- Waianae High
- Waianae Middle
- Waimanalo Elementary & Intermediate
In addition, the seven schools in the pilot program will continue participating next year.
- Kaunakakai Elementary School, Molokai
- Kilohana Elementary School, Molokai
- Maunaloa Elementary School, Molokai
- Molokai Middle School, Molokai
- Molokai High School, Molokai
- Mountain View Elementary School, Hawaii Island
- Linapuni Elementary School, Oahu
Donalyn Dela Cruz, state Department of Education spokeswoman, said the schools picked serve communities with large populations of low-income families. "This is helping our families who are struggling," she said.
Parents at schools not offering free meals can apply for free or reduced-price meals online. For more information, click here.