States put free school meals on the menu

Lawmakers and state officials around the country are considering universal free school meals in upcoming legislative sessions.

Millions of families who picked up the tab for breakfast and lunch served at public schools this year may see financial relief in the fall if state officials can get their legislatures to cooperate.

Before Covid-19, free school meals were usually available only to students who met income requirements for free or reduced-price meals or attended schools that qualified for certain alternative programs. After Congress let a pandemic-era waiver expire on Sept. 30 that allowed all students eat school meals for free, Minnesota, Vermont and Washington, among other states, have tried to step in where the federal government left off.

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