Free school meal programs don’t just feed hungry kids — they’re a major win for moms
Priya Fielding-Singh is an assistant professor of family and consumer studies at the University of Utah and the author of the forthcoming book “How the Other Half Eats: The Untold Story of Food and Inequality in America.”
This summer, California and Maine became the first states to pass universal school meal programs: Starting in fall 2022, all 6.2 million of California’s public school students and 180,000 of Maine’s will have the option to eat school breakfast and lunch free, regardless of their families’ incomes.
As policymakers, school officials and anti-hunger advocates have noted, these historic undertakings are all-around wins for children. Universal school meals will help boost children’s nutritional intake, decrease food insecurity, reduce the stigma of poverty, address racial inequities and improve children’s educational outcomes.