As Johnston County recovers from hurricane, students will get free meals for a month

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All Johnston County students will be eligible for free breakfast and lunch in October as part of the Presidential Declaration for Disaster, the school system announced Sunday.

As a result of Hurricane Florence, the school system of 37,000 students was closed for almost a week. The storm also caused flooding on major highways in the county, including some parts of Interstates 40 and 95.

The free meals are for all students, regardless of meal account status.

The declaration doesn’t cover employees, according to a news release.

The county had qualified for the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which offered residents short-term food relief.

Superintendent David Ross Renfrow said in a video message that many schools in the southeastern part of the county experienced loss of power for multiple days.

Benson, a town in the southern part of Johnston County, saw 330,000 gallons of sewage spill over as a result of the hurricane.