Students in 7th and 8th grades at Cloudland High School in Carter County will now get free meals at school, just like their peers in the rest of the school system.
Carter County received a federal grant this year that provides free breakfasts and lunches to all students in grades K-8.
But Cloudland is a 7-12 high school, and students in grades 7 and 8 who attend there were therefore ineligible for the free meals, according to federal guidelines.
Director of Schools Kevin Ward said that during the county school board meeting Thursday, members unanimously approved feeding those Cloudland students free meals out of the food services budget.
The cost for this would be around $23,000, Ward said.
Ward said every possible avenue was explored to get around those federal regulations, but in the end, the law could not be changed. But school board members thought it was only fair to give free lunches to every 7th and 8th grade student regardless of where they attend school.
Those free meals should be served beginning Monday.
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