Franken wants more free school lunches

Thinkstock

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) introduced a bill that would expand the free school lunch program.

“No child should have to go through the school day hungry because their family can't afford school breakfast or lunch,” Franken said. “We know hungry students don't do as well in school.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Franken introduced S. 2248, the Expand School Meals Act, last week. The bill would expand eligibility for free school meals to students who are currently offered reduced-price meals.

“Unfortunately, many families that are eligible for reduced-price meals still can't afford the co-pay and their children are turned away at the lunch counter,” Franken said. “The goal of my bill is to eliminate that co-pay to ensure that Minnesota students can get a nutritious meal at school.”

Franken said almost 30 million children participate in the National School Lunch Program and more than 21 million of those kids get free or reduced-price meals based on family income. His bill would allow families that qualify for reduced-price meals — typically around 40 cents instead of $2 — to receive those meals for free.

The Congressional Budget Office hasn’t scored Franken’s bill yet, so the cost is unknown.