BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — For the first time since Hurricane Michael some Bay County students will have to buy school meals this year.

However, 22 of Bay District’s 35 schools will offer free meals for all students.

“Before Hurricane Michael we had 11 schools that qualified for universal free meals throughout their schools and that was for breakfast and lunch. Now we applied for the state and we were approved this past week for 22,” Director of Food Service Sandra Davis said.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Food, Nutrition and Wellness Division is responsible for the free and reduced school meals guidelines. Schools receive one hundred percent free meals based on past percentages of students that qualified for the program and other factors like being enrolled in financial government programs.

However, even if a child’s school was not approved for the program, individual students can still apply.

“The other schools that are not approved if their family situation requires them to have free or reduced lunch they certainly can. They apply for free and reduced meals beginning August first,” Davis said.