Congress’ new school lunch bill, H.R.610, is proposing distribution of federal funds for elementary and secondary education in the form of vouchers for eligible students, repealing a certain rule relating to nutrition standards in schools, according to Pro Republica.
The bill was first introduced to the House of Representatives on Jan. 23 by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa).
All students who are low-income and are eligible for free and reduced lunch should not have to struggle to pay for their school lunches. But now, they just might.
According to the New York Times, “In some cases, cafeteria workers have been ordered to throw away the hot lunches of children who owed money, giving them alternatives like sandwiches, milk and fruit.”
The Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act of 2016 is a legislation that has been criticized by nutrition and hunger groups, which said it would reverse 2010 improvements to the national school lunch program, according to The Huffington Post.
“Criticisms have centered on proposed changes to the community eligibility provision, which currently allows high-poverty school districts, with 40 percent or more of their student population from families receiving government assistance like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, to offer free meals to all of their students,” reported the Huffington Post.
If changes are made to the current bill, purchasing school lunch will soon become difficult for low-income students.
According CNN, “The bill in Congress specifically forbids schools from public identification or stigmatization of kids who don’t have enough money for lunch. That means no more stamping a kid’s hand, forcing them to wear a colored wristband or do extra chores when they have run up debt in the school cafeteria.”
Young students should not have to do anything in order to pay for their school lunch. A way to try and persuade the House GOP from changing the bill, is to call Congress and try to change their minds.