(07/14/2012)
More West Virginia schools will participate in a program this fall to offer 90,000 children free breakfast and lunch at school.

Calhoun County has already qualified for the program.

The state's Universal Free Meals pilot program already targeted Cabell, Clay, Fayette, Gilmer, Lincoln, Mason, McDowell and Mingo counties. Superintendent Jorea Marple says this year about 283 schools will participate using the Community Eligibility Option, a program that lets the state expand a free meals pilot project.

Marple says countless children go to school hungry, making it impossible to focus on school work.

Nineteen counties opted out for various reasons, including cost.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says nearly 14 percent of West Virginians don't know where they'll get their next meal, and more than 88,500 children live in poverty.


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