By Alison Counts
Washington- May 18th, Education and Workforce Committee backed the bill passed Wednesday that will reduce free and reduced-price meals at schools.
The bill passed ,20-14, allowing so-called ‘block grants’ in three states. Meaning those states ‘would no longer receive unlimited federal dollars for students who qualify for free and reduced-price lunches, and wouldn’t have to follow most federal nutrition standards’(The Register-Guard).
The bill convinced the House Committee, with multiple schools saying, ‘healthier meals are not appetizing enough to students’, and that, ‘other money would be redirected to other programs while still ensuring that those with the highest needs are still guaranteed meals’.
The School Nutrition Association, which has been calling for reform of the school meal standards for years now, calls the block grant idea ‘reckless’ and said ‘it would be the first step toward eliminating the federal guarantee that all children have access to the nutrition they need at school.’
Republicans said it would be better for taxpayers by scaling back money spent on free meals in areas with high-poverty who do not individually qualify for free or reduced meals. The bill would also allow an increase in federal funding for school breakfasts.