Lawmakers in North Dakota have introduced two bills that would ban lunch shaming and implement universal free meals.
HB 1494 would prevent schools from providing alternate meals or taking away meals from students who have accumulated meal debt. Schools would also not be allowed to identify or stigmatize students whose families are behind on meal payments or use debt collectors to recoup unpaid meal debt.
HB 1491 would provide free meals to all K-12 students from July 2023 through June 2025. The meals would be covered using money from the state’s general fund.
Virginia, Washington,Rhode Island and several other states are also looking at providing free school meals to all students.