Local school systems to provide free breakfast, lunch to all local children under the age of 18 for rest of 2020

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FILE – In this Thursday, May 4, 2017 file photo, a third-grader punches in her student identification to pay for a meal at Gonzales Community School in Santa Fe, N.M. The Trump administration is proposing a rollback of nutrition guidelines for federal school meals programs that had been promoted by Michelle Obama as part of her campaign to combat child obesity. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee, file)

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Tri-Cities schools have announced they will be providing free breakfast and lunch to all children for the rest of 2020.

With help from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, schools are now able to provide meals to all children under the age of 18 years.

Children do not have to be enrolled in the school districts to receive the meals.

“Allowing all children to receive free meals prioritizes the role that good nutrition plays for effective learning,” Johnson City Schools Supervisor of Food Service Karen McGahey said. “We encourage all of our families to take full advantage of this benefit, as it directly affects and helps the most vulnerable in our community — our children.”

The Summer Food Service Program has been extended by the USDA to be available as long as necessary in 2020 to provide all children with free meals.

You can learn more about the program by visiting the USDA’s website.

The following school systems have announced their intent to feed all children and have provided information on how they can receive their free meals:


  • Johnson City Schools
  • Greeneville City Schools
  • Kingsport City Schools
  • Greene County Schools
  • Sullivan County Schools
  • Washington County, TN Schools
  • Hawkins County Schools
  • Rogersville City School
  • Unicoi County Schools
  • Carter County Schools
  • Elizabethton City Schools
  • Bristol Tennessee City Schools


  • Washington County, VA Schools
  • Wise County Public Schools
  • Dickenson County Public Schools
  • Tazewell County Public Schools
  • Russell County Public Schools
  • Smyth County Public Schools

Representatives from Bristol Virginia Public Schools told News Channel 11 that the district has applied to enroll in the program and should know if they will be participating soon.

News Channel 11 has reached out to Scott County Public Schools, Buchanan County Schools, Norton City Schools and Lee County Schools but has not yet received an answer on whether or not they will be providing meals to all children.

For details on each school system’s food distribution plan and information on pick-up locations, contact your school district or check online.

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