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Press Release

NEA applauds introduction of Universal School Meals Plan

Important federal legislation would make breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks free to all school children regardless of household income levels.
Published: 05/07/2021

WASHINGTON — Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) intend to introduce legislation in both chambers that would expand the federal school meals program, making them free for everyone.

The following statement can be attributed to NEA President Becky Pringle:
“All our students — no matter what they look like, where they come from or where they live — deserve access to the resources needed to grow and thrive. Free, healthy and nutritious meals for all students preserve this vision by keeping students’ bellies full so their minds can learn. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government provided waivers that allowed schools to offer healthy meals to all students for free. We must build on this accomplishment with a robust response to childhood hunger that ensures every child has food security and that no student feels shame by receiving a free meal.

“The National Education Association applauds Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar and Congresswoman Gwen Moore for introducing this important legislation. Providing free and healthy school meals to all students will help to ensure they are ready to learn while cultivating healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime.”

National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.