Vermont becomes 6th state to make universal free meals permanent

Starting July 1, all public school students in the state will be offered free breakfast and lunch.
Students get lunch at school
Gov. Phil Scott allowed the universal free meals bill to become law without his signature.|Photo: Shutterstock

Vermont has become the sixth state to enact a permanent universal free meals program. 

Gov. Phil Scott allowed H.165 to become a law without his signature on Wednesday. It will utilize state funds to provide public school students in the state free breakfast and lunch daily at school, and will go into effect on July 1.

Independent schools may be able to opt into the program for students who attend on public tuition if they participate in federal meal programs such as the National School Lunch Program.

Vermont was one of a handful of states to continue offering universal free meals after the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s pandemic-era waivers that allowed schools to feed kids for free expired last year

The state joins California, Maine, Colorado, Minnesota and New Mexico in offering universal free school meals on a permanent basis.

See which states currently offer universal free meals via the map below:



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