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New bill pushes for universal free meals in Maine

The legislation aims to guarantee that students 18 and under would receive free meals at public schools.
Lunch trays filled with food.
Photograph: Shutterstock

Senator Troy Jackson has introduced legislation that would provide universal free school meals to Maine students. 

If passed, the bill would require the state to pay the difference between the federal reimbursement for free breakfast or lunch and the meals' full price for those that are served to students who are ineligible for free or reduced-priced meals. 

Schools would also be responsible for reaching out to parents and guardians and having them complete income forms to determine if they’re eligible for federal food assistance programs. Schools that are eligible for federal meal programs, such as the Community Eligibility Provision, would also have to participate in them. 

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