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Connecticut students to receive free school lunches after legislative vote

A school lunch tray featuring whole wheat tortillas at the School Nutrition Association conference in July 2014. The association is asking Congress to relax the federal school nutrition standards in hopes of attracting more kids back to the school lunch line.
Charles Krupa
A school lunch tray featuring whole wheat tortillas at the School Nutrition Association conference.

All Connecticut K-12 students will be receiving free school meals after legislative approval.

The state General Assembly vote restores free meals for students for the remainder of the academic year after federal funding expired in September.

“The extension shows that we are committed to our kids and shows that we are committed to them learning,” said Subira Gordon, executive director of the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now. ”And by being able to have this extension, we are showing these communities that we do care about them and we do want kids to be ready to learn when they go to school and not have families worrying about food on top of everything else that they’re struggling with.”

The vote moves $60 million from the federal American Rescue Plan Act into the Free Meals for Students program.

“By giving the districts the resources that they deserve and the resources that they need to take care of their students, districts will be able to figure out how to incorporate this if they think this is something that they should continue doing as time goes on beyond the end of this school year,” Gordon said.

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont has applauded both the state Senate and the House of Representatives and said he will sign the bill into law.

Free meals will be provided to more than 500,000 students in all 169 towns.

Clare Gehlich is a former news intern at WSHU.