DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Des Moines Public Schools plans to offer free meals to all students at more schools beginning this fall.
District officials say 35 Des Moines schools and three early learning centers will offer free breakfasts and lunches for all their students. That's an increase from the free meals previously provided to all students at 13 schools.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture will pay for the free meals at the schools, which have a high percentage of children living in poverty.
Superintendent Thomas Ahart says when children have eaten, they are "more focused on learning."
Nearly 70 percent of families in the Des Moines school district qualify for free or reduced-price meals.
The district has 54 schools and 10 special schools and programs.