Globe Report:The families of roughly half the public school students in Massachusetts will soon receive payments totaling around $400 per child to help them cover the cost of meals on days when the schools were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, thanks to nearly $200 million in federal funding from Congress.

About 500,000 public school students are eligible, either because their families are low-income or they go to classes in one of hundreds of school districts statewide where average incomes are low. That would include the students at all 125 Boston public schools.

Starting this month, eligible families will receive the first of two lump sums totaling around $400 on a special Electronic Benefit Transfer card that will arrive in the mail for those who don’t already have one. The payments, which work out to $5.70 a day for school closures from mid-March to mid-June, add up to roughly $1,200 for a family with three school-age children.

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