It’s a little-noticed move on Capitol Hill, but one that could negatively impact thousands of Florida children in districts around the state.
House lawmakers are proposing legislation that would roll backschool lunch laws passed in 2010. These laws guarantee free lunches and after-school meals for children in high-poverty areas.
A proposal the House will consider (officially called the Education & Workforce Committee Child Nutrition Reauthorization Bill) would change the criteria for what’s known as “community eligibility” — which means hundreds of Florida schools would no longer be able to offer free meals to their entire student bodies. Under the Community Eligibility Provision passed in 2010, any school in which 40 percent of the students automatically qualify for free or reduced-price lunch can offer free school breakfast AND lunch to all of its students. The measure being considered in the House would raise that threshold from 40 to 60 percent.