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Across the country, states have needed to use school closures and remote learning as strategies for reducing the spread of COVID‐19. On April 14, 2020, Mississippi leaders announced that children would stay home from their school facilities for the rest of the academic year. Extended school closures make it difficult to meet children’s nutritional needs: students who rely on free and reduced‐price meals from the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) lose their best source of daily nutrition. About 74% of Mississippi public school students qualify for free or reduced‐price meals; the change could thus negatively impact over 344,000 school‐age children and their families. There are, however, ways for policymakers, schools, and community organizations to ensure that Mississippi children’s nutritional needs are met during this time. This fact sheet outlines opportunities to ensure the availability of adequate meals for low‐income children in Mississippi.

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