Iowa introduces universal free meals bill, while North Dakota and Oklahoma bills stop short of offering free school meals for all

Universal free meals legislative update: Iowa is the latest state to debut legislation seeking to provide free school meals to all students.
Students eating food at school
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As the 2023 legislative session carries on, expanding school meal access has been a big topic for lawmakers in several states. Here’s a look at the latest universal free meals legislative updates. 

Iowa introduces universal free meals legislation 

Iowa is the most recent state to introduce a universal free meals bill. SF 303 would require public schools in the state to serve free breakfast and lunch to all students. The meals would be funded through the State Department of Education. 

North Dakota pares down its universal free meals bill 

The North Dakota House passed a pared-down bill to expand free school meal access. HB 1492 originally would have provided universal free meals to all students in the state for the next two years; however, the bill was reworked in the House to provide those meals only to students whose family income is less than double the federal poverty level.

Oklahoma looks to expand free school meal access 

Lawmakers in Oklahoma have introduced a bill seeking to broaden access to school meals. HB 1376 would require school districts to provide free meals at school for the next two years to students whose family  income is less than 300% of the federal poverty level.

See which states currently offer, or are considering, universal free meals via the map below:



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