Universal School Meals Programs Are Being Cut Despite 1 in 8 Kids Going Hungry

Federal funding lapsed in June 2022, forcing most public schools to charge all but the poorest students for food.

“It is deeply immoral for lawmakers to decide that the needs of a growing number of people do not matter,” Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign and director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice, told Truthout. “The immorality of knowing what is needed and then refusing to provide it is cruel and shows the disdain of our society for both kids and the poor.”

Theoharis could be speaking about a number of things — inaction on climate change, gun control or single-payer health insurance, among them — but she is not. Instead, she is expressing her outrage over the federal government’s refusal to continue a universal school meals program that provided

free daily breakfast and lunch to 50.6 million U.S. public school children during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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