The Virginia House of Delegates passed a bill this month to provide free school meals for 109,000 more public school students in the commonwealth.
House Bill 5113, introduced by Del. Danica Roem (D-Prince William), passed the chamber unanimously. Roem’s bill requires eligible public elementary and secondary schools to apply for the Community Eligibility Provision through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service.
“School food should be seen as an essential service that is free for everyone regardless of their income,” Roem said.The program allows all students in an eligible school to receive free breakfast and lunch. Currently, 425 schools are eligible for CEP but don’t take part in the program, according to a document that details the financial impact of the legislation. More than 420 schools and 200,000 students participated in CEP during the 2018-2019 school year, according to the Virginia Department of Education.
The bill allows eligible schools to o...
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