ST PETERSBURG, Fla. - Displaced Puerto Rican students attending a public K-12 school in Florida are eligible for free meals through the National School Lunch Program, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam said.

Federal law allows students evacuating a designated disaster area to receive free school meals.

“Our neighbors and fellow Americans in Puerto Rico need all the help and support we can provide,” Putnam said in a statement. “To any families fleeing Puerto Rico and coming to Florida, you will not have to worry about how you’re going to pay for your child’s school meals.”

Parents seeking additional information can call 800-504-6609 or

At least two Tampa Bay universities are also helping Puerto Rican students. The University of South Florida and Hillsborough Community College have waived out of state fees for students from Puerto Rico.