DIXFIELD — All 1,258 students at Mountain Valley High and Middle schools, and Rumford and Meroby elementary schools will receive free breakfasts and lunches when classes resume in the fall.

Regional School Unit 10 nutrition director Jeanne Lapointe said that under the federal Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, 98 percent of the students qualify, based on family participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Also qualifying are students who are homeless, migrants, in foster care, runaways and in Head Start.

“Poverty is higher this year than last,” she said.

Teachers will no longer be required to collect lunch money or free and reduced-priced lunch applications.

“We will have to collect economic data, and that form will be mailed home this summer,” Lapointe said via email.

Other RSU 10 schools will still go by the free and reduced-price lunch program in place.

The United States Department of Agriculture will reimburse the school nutrition program for providing the meals.

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