Getting the Facts Straight on School Meals and Child Nutrition Reauthorization

The House and the Senate might soon consider child nutrition bills that would reauthorize the infamous Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. This bill would make it possible for students, regardless of family income, to receive free school meals. As is too often the case, should either bill move forward, many policymakers, including conservatives, would be conceding child nutrition policy to those seeking greater federal control and a larger welfare state.

Policymakers should reject the proposed legislation that is merely the “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act Part II.” Instead, they should push child nutrition policies that ensure that school meals go to students who are truly in need (as has always been the case), develop school meal standards that give flexibility to local communities and respect both parents and students, and not add yet another program to the welfare state.

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