Vermont group pushes lawmakers for universal school meals

Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 2:22 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 15, 2021 at 7:09 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - A push for universal meals at Vermont’s schools is expected to come before the Legislature in the coming year.

Advocates want the state to ensure all children in Vermont can get breakfast and lunch at school regardless of their family’s income. Before the pandemic, 25% of schools in the state offered universal meals. During the pandemic and for this coming school year the federal government waived the income limits for meal programs, so all public schools could offer all students food.

Hunger Free Vermont says it will give them a chance to look closer at the program. “We are going to see how universal meals plays out in every single school in Vermont that uses the federal school meals programs in school cafeterias in school classrooms, under more normal learning circumstances,” said the group’s Anore Horton

The $24 million price tag for their proposal would be paid out of the Education Fund. The Vermont Senate has given the green light just to universal breakfasts. Hunger Free Vermont plans to ask the House to reinstate the full bill, which includes breakfast and lunch.

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