The House introduces universal school meals legislation

Written by: Stephanie Perez-Carrillo
Date Posted: August 7, 2020

Last week House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott introduced the Pandemic Child Hunger Prevention Act. If enacted, the bill would ensure that all students receive two healthy meals every school day during the 2020-2021 school year regardless of their family’s income. The bill also allows schools operating summer feeding and afterschool programs to serve all children without having to certify the eligibility of each individual child.

We know that schools are under tremendous pressure to develop safe plans for reopening schools and restructuring how meals will be provided. As the pandemic continues, more children are likely to qualify, creating a significant administrative burden for schools as eligibility fluctuates with the economic downturns. This bill would significantly ease the administrative burden that schools are facing for verifying which kids are eligible for the program.

We know that families are struggling during this public health emergency. Supporting free school meals to all children and the Pandemic Child Hunger Prevention Act ensures that no child will go hungry, and would bring stability and consistency for the children, parents, and school food service professionals as they transition into uncertain school year.

Take action! Demand that Congress provide free school meals to every K-12 child by signing on to the School Lunch for All petition.

Share the sample social media posts below:

POST 1

Universal meals can unlock success for students by ensuring that all students get two free, healthy meals every school day. Equitable access to healthy meals can level the playing field for students. #SchoolLunchForAll

POST 2

Here’s why we love #UniversalMeals:

🍎 Ensures all students receive a healthy breakfast and lunch

✔️ Removes stigma

💨 Speeds up lunch lines

🌟 Eliminates unpaid meal balances

💵 Provides steady budget for food service programs

POST 3

With #COVID19 increasing stress and strain for all families, #SchoolLunchForAll just makes sense. School food service programs will receive a steady budget, no burden on families to do paperwork, and kids get healthy meals.

POST 4

We may not know what the school day will look like, but legislation for #UniversalMeals will give flexibility to programs so that they can keep feeding kids no matter what the new school day structure becomes in the fall. #SchoolLunchForAll

POST 5

With all eyes on ensuring #equity in schools, #SchoolLunchForAll legislation like the Pandemic Child Hunger Prevention Act, takes a huge step towards ensuring every student is on level playing field, equipped with a full stomach, and ready to learn. Thank you @BobbyScott!

Stephanie Perez-Carrillo

About Stephanie Perez-Carrillo

Stephanie works as a Policy Analyst for the Colorado Children’s Campaign. Prior to joining the Children’s Campaign, she worked as a Public Policy Fellow at The Women’s Foundation of Colorado – where she found her love and passion for policy work. Before diving into the policy world, Stephanie served as a Teach for America Corps Member in South Carolina, teaching high school and middle school math. Early on while obtaining her degree in Marketing from Florida International University, she worked in health care as a Patient Advocate and Unit Secretary. When she is not working, you can typically find her at a coffee shop, hanging out with friends, or engaging in some type of outdoor activity.