West Virginia leads the nation for free meal program in schools - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

West Virginia leads the nation for free meal program in schools

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PINEVILLE (WVVA) -- New legislation will provide free breakfasts and lunches to public school students in West Virginia.

The bill will make the mountain state the first in the nation to enact a program like this.

Opponents of the bill feared students would get the wrong idea about free meals, saying they wouldn't have to work for their food and perhaps the government shouldn't be the sole provider.

Many districts in southern West Virginia are already taking advantage of federal dollars to pay for free meals for students.

"I think this has really improved in their participation, and the breakfast program has helped because we all know if you eat a good, balanced breakfast it helps you during the day and with your studies. And I think this has really helped this county," says Marquita Walker, director of child nutrition at Wyoming County Schools.

Wyoming County Schools have been providing free breakfasts and lunches since last fall.

The new program goes into effect statewide in the fall of 2015.

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