(Greensboro, NC) -- School systems in North Carolina and South Carolina are among 15 nationwide where students will be able to eat breakfast at school for free this year.
The Wal-Mart Foundation started Breakfast in the Classroom last year in five school districts. It's adding 10 districts this year, including Guilford County schools in Greensboro and Charleston County schools in South Carolina.
According to Partners For Breakfast In The Classroom, Guilford County Schools were one of 10 national school districts selected to participate in Breakfast in the Classroom program this year. More than 12,000 students at 12 local schools will participate in the free breakfast program, allowing them to have the nutritional and academic benefits associated with a morning meal.
The addition of Guilford County Schools brings the total number of school districts benefiting from Breakfast in the Classroom to 15 this year.
GCS tells WFMY the schools that will get the free breakfast are: Alderman Elementary, Allen Middle, Bluford STEM Academy, Brightwood Elementary, Cone Elementary, Dudley High, Jackson Middle, Oak View Elementary, Parkview Village Elementary, Sedgefield Elementary, Smith High and Welborn Academy of Science and Technology.
The program uses a $5 million grant from the foundation to provide breakfast at no charge to all students. The meal is provided in the classroom, not in the cafeteria.
Foundation officials say many students eligible for the federally funded school breakfast program don't participate, partially because they don't want to be labeled as low-income. Other issues include late arrivals, school bus schedules and pressure to go directly to class.