U.S. Representatives Ilhan Omar and Deb Haaland have introduced a bill that would eliminate meal debt during the COVID-19 pandemic.
H.R. 6430 would suspend the collection of all meal debt and late fees associated with unpaid meals. Meal debt for families would be canceled and the secretary of agriculture would be required to reimburse school food authorities and educational agencies.
“Families deserve support during this time of crisis, but school meal debt is adding an unnecessary burden to folks who are raising their families and experiencing layoffs, reduced hours, and uncertainty,” Haaland said in a statement. “Our bill will make sure families don’t have the additional financial burden of school lunch debt added to the stresses caused by the coronavirus pandemic.”