Pandemic expansion of free school lunches could be ending

Students eat lunch at a Mississippi-area school. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports...
Students eat lunch at a Mississippi-area school. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports about 30 million students currently receive free school meals -- about 10 million more than before the pandemic.(WKYT)
Published: Mar. 9, 2022 at 1:53 PM EST
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(CNN) - Free lunches for students could be coming to an end as a new congressional spending bill does not include an extension of school lunch waivers.

The waivers, authorized at the beginning of the pandemic, let schools distribute free meals to all students without verifying their families’ income.

The waivers also give districts the flexibility to offer grab-and-go meals for kids who are quarantining or studying remotely.

Lawmakers are pushing to extend the waivers for another year to give schools and students more time to transition back to pre-pandemic requirements.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports about 30 million students currently receive free school meals -- about 10 million more than before the pandemic.

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