California to become 1st state to offer free school lunches for all students

California to become 1st state to offer free school lunches for all students

California to become 1st state to offer free school lunches for all students

Many students in Detroit Public Schools are eligible for free school lunches because they live below the poverty line. School officials say that some students won’t eat the free meals because they don’t want to be called “low-income” students. Starting with the 2018-2019 school year, the city will be a part of a pilot programme that will give all Detroit Public Schools students free lunches.

In a press release posted on the USDA website, Agriculture Under Secretary Kevin Concannon said, “Community eligibility is a great way for schools to cut through burdensome red tape for themselves and low-income families so that kids in high-poverty areas can get the food they need to learn and grow.” Parents won’t have to fill out the same paperwork twice, and it will be easier for kids who need it to get healthy school meals. This is good for schools.

The USDA chose Michigan, Illinois, and Kentucky to start the pilot programme for the 2011-2012 school year, according to an ABC12 article. Detroit is the only city in Michigan that has joined the programme officially so far. Other school districts in the state may also be eligible if at least 40% of their students get help from the government.

To make education better and fight hunger

The programme is part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which was signed into law last year by President Obama. The Detroit News says that the Child Nutrition Act gives free and low-cost meals to nearly 31 million children across the country who qualify. Over the next ten years, the programme would get an extra $4.5 billion in funding to pay for this extension of the law.

But in a city like Detroit, where more than three-quarters of students are eligible for free lunch, the stigma is very real. Mark Schrupp, the Chief Operating Officer of DPS, says that one of the main goals of this project is to get rid of the shame that students feel when they get a free meal instead of paying for it. Some students skipped important meals to hide how much money they didn’t have. No student will have to pay for lunch while they are standing in line. It will be harder to tell which students are poor, and they will be less likely to skip meals.

Plans for growth and expansion

So far, the only school district in Michigan to sign up for the pilot programme is Detroit. The deadline for the other districts is the middle of September. “We know that Detroit is in,” says Marla Moss, who works for the Michigan Department of Education as an associate director of child nutrition programmes. “By the middle of September, we’ll know from other schools.” We think that this is a good thing. We’re looking forward to it. It will be good for the kids.

Over the next few years, the free-for-all programme option will be used more and more. The USDA wants to include four more states in 2012 and four more in 2013. By 2014, the programme will be available in all qualified school districts across the country. This will make sure that malnourished children can get at least some of what they need each day at school.


Sophia Amelia is the New York Times Bestselling Author. Writing stories to inspire young minds. Celebrating the power of words & imagination through my books. Join me on my journey to creating stories that will capture your imagination and captivate your heart.

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