LATEST SENATOR CASEY
Washington, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) joined his colleagues Senators Tom Udall (D-NM) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) in introducing a bipartisan bill to prohibit schools from discriminating against or stigmatizing children who have outstanding credit or don't have enough money to pay for meals at school. U.S. Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM) led the House companion bill along with U.S. Representatives. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Bobby Scott (D-VA). The legislation, the Anti-Lunch Shaming Act, would ban schools from singling out children — such as by requiring them to wear wristbands or hand stamps or do extra chores — because their parents have not paid their school meal bills.
In an effort to decrease school meal debt, some schools require cafeteria workers to take these steps and others — in some cases even throwing the child's meal away — rather than extending credit for meals. The Anti-Lunch Shaming Act prohibits these tactics by requiring schools to direct communications regarding meal debt to the parent, not the child. The bill also aims to make the process for applying for free and reduced price lunch applications simpler by expressing that it is the sense of Congress that schools should provide these applications more effectively to the families who need them, coordinate with other programs to ensure that homeless and foster children are enrolled for free meals, and set up online systems to make paying for meals easier for parents when possible.
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