Californians won a historic victory this year: the Free School Meals for All Act. Under the new plan, all children - kindergarten through 12th grade - have the option of receiving two free meals per day at school!
Sign now to demand the remaining 48 states and Washington D.C. follow suit and enact universal meal programs now!
Under the existing nationwide framework - the National School Lunch Program - some students can get free or reduced-price lunch, but there are caveats. Schools use household income level to determine if students qualify. This plan sounds good in theory, but in reality, many children slip through the cracks. The current National School Lunch Program states that children of families who make under $36,075 qualify for free school meals and those who earn less than roughly $51,000 can receive meals at reduced cost. But people who make just a few dollars above either limit are left to scramble to feed their kids, and the guidelines don't even take into account the cost of living, which varies dramatically by state. All children deserve free food, and means-testing just means more hungry children who have slipped through the cracks.
Under the Free School Meals for All Act, this won't be a problem. The bill, which was backed by a massive coalition of over 200 organizations, pledges $650 million in ongoing funding to give millions of children the option of receiving free breakfast and lunch every day in California. If our tax dollars can fund hundreds of billions of dollars in military spending, they can easily pay for common sense legislation that guarantees food as a human right.As a bonus, universal meal programs have been repeatedly shown to help reduce racial and socioeconomic disparities in kids. Maine has already followed suit, meaning two states will be on the right side of history of making sure every child has a full meal twice a day. We must push all 48 of the remaining states, plus Washington D.C., to enact universal meal programs too! Sign the petition now if you agree!