On Tuesday, First Lady Michelle Obama and U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will announce the expansion of a pilot program that gives all students, regardless of income, free school meals, including breakfast and lunch.
The original program targeted students in 11 states, but as of July 1, it will be expanded to 22,000 schools across the country where 40 percent or more of the students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches, a sign of a high concentration of poverty. The administration says this will reach 9 million children and help them “eat health meals at school, especially breakfast, which can have profound impacts on educational achievement.”
Programs that give all students free meals come with a variety of benefits. It eliminates the stigma children on free or reduced-price meals can experience, particularly when schools throw out their lunches and stamp their hands when their balances run low.
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