House legislators have recently passed a bill that will expand free lunch to multiple students, thereby continuing school meal waivers that were commenced in earnest during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Originally, free school lunches were due to expire by the end of the fiscal year, on June 30, 2022, but numerous Democrats in Congress urged for free lunches to continue at taxpayers’ expense.
Legislators across both chambers in the House reached an ostensibly bipartisan deal that would enable even more students to take advantage of free meal opportunities at taxpayer funded schools.
Democrat Senator Debbie Stabenow proclaimed that additional free lunches will cost taxpayers another $3B, and she garnered the support of virtually all Democrats and some Republicans.
The bill, which is known as the Keep Kids Fed Act, will continue extending free lunch waivers provided by Congress, namely by eliminating the regulations associated with free school meals.
Previously, federal legislation required for the meals to be served in “congregate” settings, which meant that students actually had to be in school to receive the meals.
In addition, families had to meet specific income requirements in order for youth to receive free meals.
However, by extending the COVID-19 waivers under the Keep Kids Fed Act, students are free to grab food to go or even have it delivered.
“[This bill] will give our schools and summer meal programs much-needed support to deal with ongoing food service issues,” Stabenow declared in a recent news release.
“Congress needs to act swiftly to pass this critical help,” the Democrat representative added pointedly.
While the bill has recently cleared the House, it will need to pass the Senate in order to be passed into law.
Currently, at least one Republican Senator, Rand Paul of Kentucky, is openly opposing the bill.
However, Democrats remain determined for the bill to clear the Senate, a decision that should be rendered in the near future.