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Free school lunch extension approved by Congress through summer

Rules that allowed all students to get free meals at school expire before the next school year.

WASHINGTON — Congress passed legislation on Friday aimed at maintaining the expanded distribution of free meals for all college students amid the pandemic season this summer.

The last passage of the Keep Kids Fed Act in the US House of Representatives came less than a week before rule changes for child feeding programs were due to expire on June 30.

“Our action today averts a dangerous hunger cliff: ensuring universal free meals for all children this summer and helping schools deal with supply chain shortages and rising costs for the coming school year,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a democrat statement.

The bill will now go to President Joe Biden for signature.

The legislation seeks to expand rules passed shortly after COVID-19 disrupted schools across the country, allowing summer meal distribution centers to operate in any community in need, rather than just where there is a high concentration of children low-income, and offer – eating out.

Rules that have allowed all students to get free meals at school, regardless of family income, expire before the next school year.

EARLIER: Free school meals for all are set to end. What’s next?

A bipartisan agreement reached in the Senate this week would have allowed children eligible for a discounted lunch to eat free in the coming school year, but that provision was removed from the final agreement.

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

Supporters said the action in Congress would relieve families, but they are disappointed that children on discounted lunches are not getting free meals while families struggle with soaring food and gas prices. They also say there will be fewer places to eat this summer because of the late timing of the legislation.

“Everything goes up, food, gas, shelter. These families that belong to this category often earn a little bit too much money so they can’t get support from different programs now school meals but they don’t earn enough they can cover basic needs so we put these families in terrible Location,” said Lisa Davis, senior vice president of Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign.

https://www.king5.com/article/news/nation-world/congress-approves-keep-kids-fed-act/507-b210ef90-c7d9-4b14-9a8f-2ce856b50e6f Free school lunch extension approved by Congress through summer

Alley Einstein

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