legislation and regulation


Florida bill would require state schools to prioritize local food

Under SB 1164, Florida college institutions, contracted foodservice providers and other state entities would be required to prioritize commodities grown or processed locally


New Mexico universal free meals bill heads to governor's desk

The state would join California, Maine and Colorado in offering universal free meals at school.

U.S. Senator John Boozman and U.S. Representative Virginia Foxx have written a letter to Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack asking for the comment period to be prolonged by 30 days.

The budget earmarks over $15 billion in funds to allow more school districts to take advantage of the Community Eligibility Provision

Also in this week’s K-12 legislative update: Several states introduce or advance universal free meals bills, while others look to expand local procurement in schools.

The effort will beef up enforcement staffs, increase penalties and have federal agencies work up a national plan.

The meal debt problem is in lawmakers’ hands, says Dan Ellnor of Jefferson County Public Schools. School districts across the country have amassed more than $19 million in unpaid meal fees, according to a recent School Nutrition Association survey.

Also in this week’s K-12 legislative update: Illinois looks to reimburse schools for the actual cost of free meals, while New Jersey and Washington consider expanding free meal access.

The bill is intended to expand the hiring pool as labor shortages keep plaguing schools.

Students would be able to receive the alternative meals at no extra cost.

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