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Sanders, Omar introduce universal free school meals bill

The Universal School Meals Program Act would eliminate any requirements needed for free school meal eligibility.
school lunch
Photograph: Shutterstock

A bill introduced by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar would offer up to three free meals per day to all U.S. students ages 18 and under, regardless of their family’s income.

Called the Universal School Meals Program Act, the bill would eliminate any requirements for free school meal eligibility and would increase meal reimbursement rates to $2.72 for breakfast and $3.81 for lunch and dinner. Schools would also receive an additional 30 cents per meal if they source at least 30% of their meals locally. 

Families in need would also receive $60 per child per month on EBT cards to help them purchase meals during the summer, when school is not in session. 

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