More states are offering — or pondering — free universal lunch

After the federal waiver providing universal free lunch expired, states like California, Colorado, Maine started looking for ways to keep the anti-hunger effort alive

Federally funded universal free meals at schools ended in September. But a hearty share of states has found ways to ensure that students are fed — and a growing number are adopting or considering their own universal free school meals programs.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, as schools closed and students learned remotely, Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to keep meals available. It gave schools some flexibility and also removed the cost for all students.

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