Several states are reinstating a federal pandemic-era policy that offers free school meals to all kids.
Pre-pandemic, some students qualified for free or reduced-price school meals based on their household's income.
In March 2020, the government expanded the policy and allowed schools to offer free meals to all students, regardless of income.
The expansion covered the 2020-2022 school years, with 90% of U.S. school districts participating. Sadly, Congress didn't extend it for 2022-2023.
So far, nine states have passed legislation to bring this policy back for students.
Seven states, including California, Colorado, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, and Vermont, have made this policy permanent.
Massachusetts is set to follow. Nevada made the policy for the 2023-2024 school year. These policies impact K-12 students, with some also extending to prekindergarten.
Almost two dozen other state legislatures are striving to pass bills for extended pandemic-era relief.
Meanwhile, families in the remaining 41 states need to apply for free or reduced-price school meals, as was the norm before 2020.