State Lawmakers Want To Offer Free School Meals Permanently


BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) —There may indeed be a such thing as a free lunch.

State Rep. Andy Vargas (D-Haverhill) and State Sen. Sal DiDomenico are sponsoring a bill in the state legislature to make school meals free for every student in Massachusetts.

Sen. DiDomenico said in a statement about the bill that more than a quarter of the kids in Massachusetts dealing with food insecurity don’t qualify for free or reduced school meals.

Lawmakers heard from teachers and administrators during a panel discussion on the bill Tuesday, including Michael Sabin, principal of John W. McDevitt Middle School in Waltham.

“The cafeteria should never be a place for kids to experience stigma, to feel hunger and stress while watching classmates eat, or to feel divided or separated from their classmates,” Sabin said.

All students in Massachusetts have had access to free school meals during the pandemic, but Sen. DiDomenico said that could change.

The bill says any school lunches not paid for by the federal government would fall under the responsibility of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE.)

If passed, the bill would take effect in July 2022.

WBZ's James Rojas (@JamesRojasWBZ) reports:

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