BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has added eight states to the 19 where students receiving Medicaid coverage will be automatically added to the program offering free or reduced-price school lunches.

A news release Tuesday says those states are Alabama, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

The department says this expands demonstration projects that have certified more than 1 million students for free means and nearly 260,000 for reduced-price meals since the 2012-2013 school year.

It says the 27 states now involved represent about 75% of students nationwide.