W. Va. free school lunch, breakfast bill passes

After heated debate, bill that would provide free meals to all students.

April 15—The West Virgnia House of Delegates has passed a bill that would make free breakfasts and lunches available to every student in public schools, pre-kindergarten through the 12th-grade. West Virginia would become the first state in the nation to enact such a program.

There was a heated debate surrounding the bill in the state house. Some Republican lawmakers said the free-meals-in-schools program would send a bad message to kids about personal responsibility, while Democrats argued there's a moral imperative to feed hungry students.

After an hour-long debate, House members passed the bill (SB633) by an 89-9 vote. The House made minor changes to the Senate bill, which senators unanimously approved March 30. The Senate is expected to agree to the changes, and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has said he will sign the legislation.

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The University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., will soon switch over from magnetic strip-based student ID cards to chip-based ones, The Observer reports.

Along with being more secure, the new cards will allow students easier access to dining halls, enabling them to simply tap their cards on a reader to gain entrance. Students will also be able to add flex points and Domer Dollars—which can be used at eateries on and off campus—to their accounts via a mobile app.

The new cards are expected to be available by the time school begins next fall.

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University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., has replaced a fajita bar in one of its dining halls with a superfoods bar, Tommie Media reports.

Aiming to provide more options for athletes and students with dietary restrictions, the new bar offers diners a choice of protein with a variety of toppings, such as beans, fruit, couscous and quinoa.

The superfoods bar has made a few appearances on campus since it was first tried for the school’s football players last summer.

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Reading Hospital in West Reading, Pa., is using robots to help deliver patient meals, BCTV reports.

The eight robots, named TUGs, will be used to transport meals from the hospital’s nutrition services department to patient floors at Reading HealthPlex for Advanced Surgical & Patient Care.

Moving at three miles per hour, the robots will follow preprogrammed routes to the HealthPlex, where room ambassadors will remove room service carts from the TUGs and deliver them to patients. The TUGs will then return to nutrition services with dirty dishes for cleaning.

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