SALEM, Ore. (AP) – Oregon has approved the largest statewide expansion of the federal free lunch program.
The state will ensure all students living up to 300% above the federal poverty level will have access to free lunch and breakfast.
Schools with high poverty rates will be able to provide free meals to all their students no matter their income level.
One in seven Oregon households don’t know where they’ll get their next meal.
The program will cost $40 million a year and is part of a sweeping education tax package lawmakers approved this week.
Sen. Arnie Roblan is a Democrat from Coos Bay who helped write the measure. He says this is the one aspect of the tax package that received no opposition. Providing free meals for children, he says, is simply “the right thing to do.”