Friday, August 5, 2022

Free school meals helped families during the pandemic. This fall, those lunches won’t return.

Children in food-insecure households, often headed by single parents, may struggle to meet their dietary needs following the end of universal pandemic-era meal waivers.

The healthiest meal students typically receive during the day isn’t at their dining room table — it’s in their school cafeteria. 

That finding from Tufts University researchers is just one reason child nutrition experts have urged Congress to pass legislation that would enable schools nationwide to provide free meals for all students. Pandemic-era waivers that made universal free school lunch a reality the past two years have expired, and this fall, students will once again have to qualify for free, reduced or full-priced meals based on need.

That prospect is raising concerns among child nutrition experts who predict that once the school year begins more kids will go hungry amid an uptick in food insecurity in households with children

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