skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

NH gun-safety advocates advise services, bipartisan laws after deadly shootings; Food banks, pantries address rising food insecurity during winter holidays; Despite cost debate, some MN businesses intrigued by paid-leave law.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Muslim American leaders in swing states like Michigan threaten to Abandon Biden, VP Harris criticizes greenwashing at COP28, former congresswoman Cheney calls the GOP a "threat," and George Santos is expelled.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Congress has iced the Farm Bill, but farmer advocates argue some portions are urgent, the Hoosier State is reaping big rewards from wind and solar, and opponents react to a road through Alaska's Brooks Range, long a dream destination for hunters and anglers.

MN Implements 'No-Cost Meals' for All Students

play audio
Play

Wednesday, August 30, 2023   

With back-to-school season here, Minnesota is implementing no-cost meals for all students, regardless of family income.

As districts prepare, some reminders are being floated to parents. The state Legislature approved "universal meals" for schools this past session.

Leah Gardner, policy director for Hunger Solutions Minnesota, said parents no longer face the burden of having to fill out paperwork to ensure their child has access to these meals, or worry about whether they are eligible.

She noted families still might be asked to voluntarily complete applications, because of the broader benefits connected to tracking participants.

"That is often tied to a school's funding and a family being able to get other forms of relief from paying fees, and various things like that. It's still important for a variety of reasons," Gardner explained. "But thankfully, it's not the 'be all, end all' to whether a child's going to eat that day."

The Minnesota Department of Education said all public school districts will be participating in no-cost meals, covering 880,000 students. It is unclear how many private schools will take part, but Gardner has observed some of them making the transition, because of the benefits to both students and a school's operations. After-school snack programs are not part of the initiative.

As more families face pressure from their grocery budgets, Gardner encouraged households, especially those who have never used the program before, to keep an open mind about taking advantage of these meals.

"They might be surprised about how much a district is doing around, you know, allergy considerations, making sure that meals are healthy, fresh, culturally appropriate, you name it," Gardner outlined.

She added those approaches might help a student discover foods they've never tried before. The meals are still connected to the National School Lunch Program, so they must meet a nutritional standard.

Minnesota is now among eight states to have taken steps to expand no-cost breakfasts and lunches to all students.

Disclosure: Hunger Solutions Minnesota contributes to our fund for reporting on Hunger/Food/Nutrition, and Livable Wages/Working Families. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
According to the National Family Farm Coalition, the average U.S. farmland value is now $3,800 per
acre, the highest since the 1970s. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

North Dakota's farming landscape is seeing policy shifts dealing with corporate ownership of agricultural interests. Now, there's fresh debate at the …


Social Issues

play sound

Advocates for unpaid family caregivers in Maine say they'll need continued support beyond the recently passed paid family and medical leave program…

Social Issues

play sound

The Students for Justice in Palestine chapters at the University of Florida and the University of South Florida are filing lawsuits against the deacti…


An estimated 40% of recent college graduates in the U.S. are underemployed, according to Statista. (Adobe Stock)

play sound

A new report from WGU Labs, a nonprofit affiliate of Western Governors University based in Millcreek, Utah, is shedding light on the importance of …

Social Issues

play sound

Many older residents of Washington state are facing strains on their budgets -- and the government programs that could assist them are underused…

The Thrive Indianapolis Annual Report 2022 says Indianapolis has been recognized as a Tree City USA for 35 consecutive years. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

Bloomington and Indianapolis are getting some international recognition for the work they're doing to help the environment. The two have been named …

Health and Wellness

play sound

New Mexico activists are tapping today's World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, to announce they'll ask the State Legislature to provide more money for treatment …

play sound

Bipartisan legislation that proposes the installation of solar panels in schools across Pennsylvania awaits a vote in the state Senate. The Solar …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021