BARRE -- Gov. Peter Shumlin heralded a new program that allows schools in low-income areas to provide free lunch and breakfast to all pupils, not just those who qualify for free or reduced-price meals.
"We know that you can't learn if you're hungry," Shumlin told a room full of fourth- through seventh-graders at Barre City Elementary and Middle School at lunchtime Monday, as he stood in front of a bowl piled with apples and bananas.
Kevin Concannon, undersecretary for food, nutrition and consumer services at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, joined the governor, congratulating the Barre school for taking part in the program.
"The intent behind that is to reduce the paperwork," Concannon said. It will also reduce the stigma for children who qualify, he said.