News Logo

Programs News

Tucson School District To Expand Free Breakfast and Lunch Program For Students

All students in Tucson Unified School District are set to receive free breakfast and lunch and that too without any paperwork.

February 3, 2024

Due to an expansion of the Community eligibility provision of the National School Breakfast and Lunch Program, the district is providing free meals to all students across 87 schools. Previously, students needed to ask for free and reduced-price meals but the new program does not seek household applications.

The program is operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and allows the nation’s highest-poverty schools and districts to serve breakfast and lunch at no cost to all enrolled students without asking for household applications.

Schools participating in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) receive reimbursements from the USDA based on the number of students qualifying for free meals through programs like SNAP (food stamps) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

Currently, 40,235 schools in 6,419 school districts are enrolled in CEP, as reported by the Food and Research Action Center, benefiting approximately 19.9 million children attending these eligible schools.

Around 500 schools have adopted the program in Arizona along with several schools in the Amphitheater School District.

USDA changed its eligibility rules for schools lowering the minimum number of students on federal programs needed to access CEP from 40% of students to 25% under the Biden Administration.

This move comes after the costs of free and reduced-price meals increased nearly 40% over the last decade in Arizona.

USDA reported around 33.8 Million people in the U.S. lived in households that were struggling to get enough food for everyone in 2021 in the last year and this increased to 44.2 Million people. The data reveals that families in rural areas are more likely to experience food insecurity. Also, the Southern U.S. experienced higher food insecurity than the rest of the U.S.

Article Sources

Arrow Down Sign

The content provided in this article draws inspiration and includes quotes from various reputable sources, including news articles, government data, and interviews. Affordable Housing 411 strives to ensure accuracy and credibility, but the information presented may be based on some external sources. We encourage readers to refer to the referenced materials for more in-depth insights and verification.

Ingram Paul. “TUSD expands free breakfast & lunch program for all students across 87 schools”. Tucson Sentinel, Feb 3, 2024,
TUSD expands free breakfast & lunch program for all students across 87 schools (

Last Updated: September 20, 2021