House Bill 125 will continue the Pandemic Era policy of offering all students free breakfast and lunch every school day. The shocking lack of sponsorhip on this bill, as you can see in the chart below, is infuriating.
During the COVID-19 Pandemic, the U.S. Department of Agriculture eased program restrictions to allow for free breakfast and lunch for all students. With the expiration of U.S. Department of Agriculture waivers on June 30, 2022, Delaware schools participating in the USDA School Breakfast Program and National School Lunch Program were required to return to pre-pandemic policies as they related to free breakfast and lunch meals. At present some Delaware schools and school districts provide free breakfast and lunch meals for all students because the schools qualify for Community Eligibility Provisions based on the percentage of students from low-income households. These schools are reimbursed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture using a formula.
Under this bill, the Delaware Department of Education would reimburse all schools for all expenses not reimbursed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The amount of reimbursement, by the Department, for each budget year, for each participating school, will be equal to the federal free reimbursable rate multiplied by the total number of eligible meals that the participating school serves during the applicable budget year minus the total amount of reimbursement for eligible meals served that the participating school receives under the School Breakfast Program and National School Lunch Program.
|HOUSE BILL 125 – FREE SCHOOL MEALS||Currrent Status – House Education 4/20/23|
|House Sponsors – Moore||Senate Sponsors – Lockman|
|House Yes Votes –||Senate Yes Votes –|
|House No Votes –||Senate No Votes –|
|House Absents or Not Voting –||Senate Absent or Not Voting –|
Honestly this is such a lay-up, which is why it makes it so shameful that there’s a total of only 2 sponsors on this bill. Numerous states are instituting universal school lunches including a state like Minnesota where Democrats control a slim majority in both chambers were able to get this through.