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Free Student Meals in Schools

A proposed bill would give all meals free to all U.S. students.

Boy holding a student meal at school

A collection of Congressional members, including Senator Bernie Sanders, is sponsoring a bill that would allow each U.S. child to access free student meals served in schools, no matter the family’s income. Supporters of the bill, named the Universal School Meals Program Act, include the National Education Association and the School Nutrition Association, which say that when children are not battling hunger, their performance in school improves.

The big reach of this bill also aims to lower the stigma for children from low-income households who need help to meet their nutrition needs. And interestingly, the program would provide financial incentives to schools that get more of the food for these student meals from local sources, offering a financial gain for in-state farmers.

See also: Cafeteria Food Nutrition Improved


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Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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