Washington State’s Top Educator Proposes Making School Lunches Free For All Students

OLYMPIA, Wash. – A new proposal from Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal makes school breakfast and lunch free for all students, “We know that when students eat, they have better attention, better attendance in school, better behavior. They ultimately have better academic results. And it has a positive impact on their ability to eat healthy longer term.”

During the first two years of the pandemic, a federal waiver made school food free.

But that waiver is now expired, “This is not a small and insignificant thing…for a family of four with two kids in school, this is over $2,000 a year in paying for meals.”

He’s asking the state legislature for $86 million dollars a year for the free food program, “This is probably the greatest thing they could do as a policy body this next cycle in terms of ultimately underwriting the success of young people and families.”

If passed, the program will start in the 2023-2024 school year.

Currently, more than half of students are in schools that offer free breakfast and lunch.

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