AN ACT TO PROVIDE LUNCH TO PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS AT NO COST TO THE STUDENTS.
Amends GS 115C-263 to require local boards of education to provide school nutrition services (was, to the extent practicable, school food services) in the schools under their jurisdiction. Specifies that free lunch must be included. Makes conforming changes.
Amends GS 115C-264 to specify public school units must participate in the National School Lunch Program established by the federal government and administered by the Department of Public Instruction (DPI; previously not specified that DPI is the administrator). Changes the name of the entity having jurisdiction over the program to the School Nutrition Division (was Division of Safe and Health Schools Support, School Nutrition Services). Requires DPI to allocate sufficient supplementary funds to public school units to provide free lunch for every student electing to receive it. Requires DPI to annually report to the specified NCGA committee on the no-cost lunch program as specified. Requires that school nutrition services earnings that are over operation costs be used to reduce food costs, serve healthier food (was, better food), or provide free lunch to students (replacing the requirement to provide free or reduced price lunches to indigent children). Expands the definition of personnel to mean persons directly employed in the operation of the school nutrition program. Deletes the requirement that any cost incurred in the provisions and maintenance of school food services over and beyond the cost of operation be included in the budget request filed annually by local boards of education with boards of county commissioners. Makes clarifying and conforming changes.
Appropriates $78.7 million in recurring funds from the General Fund to DPI for 2022-23 to provide lunch to public school students at no cost to the students pursuant to the act.
Effective July 1, 2022.