As SNA continues to advocate for school meals at no cost for all students, we are excited to share the following updates!
Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced the “ Universal School Meals Program Act,” providing breakfast, lunch and dinner plus a snack to all students at no cost. The bill revives the success of meals at no cost provided during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Senator Sanders stated, “What we’ve seen during this pandemic is that a universal approach to school meals works. We cannot go backwards. It is time for Congress to pass this legislation to ensure no student goes hungry again.”
In an SNA survey, school nutrition directors reported a wide range of negative impacts from the loss of free school meals for all students, including increased stigma and rising unpaid meal debt. SNA’s 2023 Position Paper urges Congress to offer healthy school meals for all students at no charge to support academic achievement, combat food insecurity and ease burdens on school nutrition staff so they can focus on serving students.
To support these efforts, SNA joined 18 allied organizations to form the Healthy School Meals For All Coalition. Together, we are working to build support for nationwide school breakfast and lunch at no cost.
Stay tuned for opportunities to urge your legislators to support the Universal School Meals Program Act through SNA’s Action Network.