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Thursday, August 11, 2022

Congress approved the extension of free student meals until the summer

On Friday, Congress passed a bill aimed at continuing the expanded distribution of free meals to all students during the pandemic era this summer.

The final passage of the Keep Kids Fed Act in the US House of Representatives came less than a week before the rule changes for baby food programs expire June 30.

“Our actions today prevent a dangerous end to hunger: providing universal free meals to all children throughout the summer, and helping schools address supply chain problems and rising costs in the coming school year,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat, said in a statement. statement.

The bill is now being sent to President Joe Biden for signature.

READ MORE: How this bill can help fill a critical gap in school meal funding

The law is intended to expand the rules, which were enacted shortly after COVID-19 disrupted schools across the country, to allow summer food outlets to operate in any community where there is a need, not just where there are many low-income children, and offer – have a bite.

The rules that allowed all students to receive free school meals, regardless of family income, are still expiring until the next school year.

A bipartisan agreement reached this week in the Senate would have allowed children eligible for reduced-price lunches to eat free for the upcoming school year, but that provision was removed from the final agreement.

“I’m disappointed that we had to make this change. But without this bill, we wouldn’t have any support for children at all,” said Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.

Advocates said action in Congress will bring relief to families, but they are frustrated that children receiving cut-price meals will not be getting free meals while families grapple with rising food and gas prices. They also say there will be fewer places to eat this summer due to the law being passed late.

“Everything is going up, food, gas, housing. Those families that fall into this category often make too much money so they can’t get help with various programs, now it’s school meals, but they don’t earn enough to cover basic needs, so we put these families in a terrible position.” ,” said Lisa Davis, senior vice president of Share Our Strength’s “No Kid Hungry” campaign.

World Nation News Desk
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