Hawaii Legislature: Inside The Push To Make School Meals Free In Hawaii 0 A growing number of states are looking for ways to make free meals a permanent part of public education.
Hawaii lawmakers are weighing multiple proposals to address the gap between the number of students who are currently eligible for free school meals and the number of students who actually need them.
A federal program that provided free meals to all students during the coronavirus pandemic ended last summer, cutting off thousands of children in Hawaii from access to free meals.
Hawaii is also one of only a few states with laws that allow students to be denied food when their parents fail to pay school lunch bills. Most states either have no law governing meal debt or have moved to a policy of requiring schools to feed children regardless of what their parents owe.
One proposed House bill would provide free lunch to students in state-run public schools for the upcoming 2023-24 school year, while another would make both breakfast and lunch free. A Senate proposal directs the state Department of Education to create a state subsidy for students who don’t qualify for federally subsidized free or reduced-priced meals.
Hawaii Legislature: Inside The Push To Make School Meals Free In Hawaii