States that Have Passed Universal Free School Meals (So Far)

If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it is that school children should never go hungry.

As parents of children enrolled in New York City public schools know, breakfast and lunch are offered free of charge to all students, no matter their family’s financial circumstances. However, the majority of municipalities in the United States have no such policy.

Most American school children do not learn in a school district that offers universal free school lunches. In 2021, Senators Bernie Sanders and Kirsten Gillibrand and Representatives Ilhan Omar and Gwen Moore introduced the Universal School Meals Program Act of 2021, a bill that would permanently provide “free meals to all school children regardless of income.”

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