Great News For New York State Students- Free Lunches Continue
So great news for many New York State parents- Congress passed a bill that will help provide free to low cost lunches for all students.
This bill, Keep Kids Fed Act, aims to keep up the expanded, pandemic-era distribution of free meals for all students this summer, and into the next school year.
Final passage of the Keep Kids Fed Act in the U.S. House came less than a week before rule changes for child nutrition programs were set to expire June 30th. The bill now goes to President Joe Biden for his signature.
According to Tasting Table, the Keep Kids Fed Act will create an extension for many of the original program's waivers, but there are some small changes:
1) The original program allowed the USDA to reimburse schools for the cost of lunches. Schools will still be reimbursed under the Keep Kids Fed Act, but at a lower rate than before.
2) Income requirements that were previously waived are currently set to be reinstated at the start of the next school year as well:
Before the pandemic, meals were free, reduced-price, or full-price for students depending on their family's income. The original waiver program included no income requirements for students to receive free meals."
A bipartisan agreement that had been reached this week in the Senate would have allowed children who are eligible for reduced price lunch to eat for free in the upcoming school year, but that provision was removed from the final agreement.
You can read the full bill online thanks to Congresswoman Elise Stefanik's office.