Minnesota universal free meals bill advances through first House committee

The state is one of several currently looking at providing free meals for all students.


Summer meal participation dropped slightly in 2021, report reveals

Almost 5.6 million children took part in summer nutrition programs on an average weekday in July 2021, according to the Food Research and Action Center.

Rising costs plus labor and supply chain disruptions make it difficult to run school nutrition programs, the SNA says, adding that programs will be "financially unsustainable" if higher meal reimbursement rates expire this summer as planned.

The executive budget recommendation allocates $30 million to provide free meals to all students in the state.

With grant funding and partner resources, the institute is helping three schools create and implement a farm-to-school action plan this year.

The Hunger-Free Schools Act would provide free school breakfast and lunch to all students, regardless of family income.

Over 726,000 students in the state lost access to free school meals after USDA waivers that provided free meals to all students expired last summer.

Students across the country got creative in the kitchen and came up with a variety of school nutrition-friendly dishes that can be served to their peers.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 would establish a permanent summer EBT program and allow summer meal sites to offer non-congregate meals.

The state will use federal funding to continue providing free meals through the next school year.

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