Because of a new federal mandate, the Hamilton County Department of Education voted 7-2 on Thursday night to to approve changes that will cause seven schools to no longer feed all students a free breakfast and lunch, regardless of income
Even though schools are being removed from the program, students qualifying for free and reduced lunch will continue to receive free meals. Only students who don't qualify for free or reduced price lunches will no longer receive free meals at the affected schools.
The majority of school affected by the vote are in District 1. Rhonda Thurman, who represents the district, said families have grown accustomed to having their children's meals paid for, and this is really going to affect families who are struggling financially.
"I just hate that we start these kinds of things and then they are cut out," Thurman said.
Schools that may be affected by the board's vote include Allen Elementary, North Hamilton County Elementary School, Sequoyah High School, Soddy Daisy Middle School, Hixson High School, Lookout Valley Middle/High School, and Snow Hill Elementary, according to the Hamilton County Department of Education.