Universal Free Meals

Universal Free Meals enable high poverty schools to serve meals free of charge to all students. Through the Community Eligibility Provision and Provision 2, school districts can make sure that every child in need gets a healthy breakfast and lunch every school day of the year.

Benefits of Universal Free Meals:

  • More kids participate in school meals.

  • Stigma and/or shame attached to the Free and Reduced-Price meal program is eliminated.

  • Eliminates parent debt for unpaid school meals.

  • School districts get more funding.

  • Reduced administrative time and expense for school meals.

Based on 2015-2016 school year.

Based on 2015-2016 school year.


San Diego Hunger Coalition provides free hands-on technical assistance for school districts to start Universal Free Meals. Our experienced team assesses financial feasibility, builds consensus amongst stakeholders (e.g. parents, teachers, custodians), and helps districts with grant writing for start-up costs.

Interested in starting Universal Free Meals in your school or district? Contact one of our Child Hunger Specialists for more information, technical assistance and hands-on support!

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Since 2015, San Diego Hunger Coalition has helped start new meal programs at 59 schools and nonprofits, reaching an estimated 4,700 low-income children each week with additional healthy meals.