The past couple of months I have been trying to raise awareness that the funding for free lunch and breakfast for all kids in the United States was not renewed in March and the program will end in June of 2022. This program has helped so many families and should be extended another few years at least. Prices have gone up and with a recession looming in the near future cutting funding to feed kids seems like the least appropriate step towards helping out families.
In our area the school lunch program gets funding based on how many students participate. Parents in our area rallied together in spring of 2021 because our school lunch program was losing funding and people were being laid off. There are so many underserved families in our community and the program was at risk. Everyone in the community pulled together and started getting lunches semi-regularly to keep the food service workers employed and to help the district get more funding so they could provide a wider variety of services, including drop off meals to those who were unable to pick up. Now, a year later, the school lunch program is robust and more students who would have otherwise not been able to participate are getting free meals. Small changes in our lives are helping others.
The school district we go to provides lunches for all kids in that district and those in neighboring districts that do not receive lunches from their own school district. This includes kids under 5 who are not in school yet, online kids, homeschoolers and families like ours where the school our kids go to does not provide lunches at all. They serve a community much larger than their district with absolutely no questions asked and it is amazing. This district has already announced that because of the funding cuts they will not be able to provide this service in the fall which will be devastating for many families.
I wanted to touch briefly on this on my blog in addition to the videos up my YouTube Channel (Linked below). Fed children do better in school across the board. This has been proven over and over again. Please post, spread awareness and contact the USDA and let them know you want the program continued. If there is enough pressure from families maybe we can make a difference and get the program back up and running.
Below are some links detailing the funding and articles about how this will affect families.