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Rep. Katie Porter Introduces Bill to Provide Nutritious Food to More Students

Congresswoman’s legislation would expand free meal programs, save schools and families money

WASHINGTON—Congresswoman Katie Porter (D-CA) has introduced legislation to expand a federal program that helps schools provide no-cost meals to students without forcing parents to spend hours filling out paperwork. The No Hungry Kids in Schools Act, which is co-led by Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA), will save families money and reduce the time-consuming and expensive administrative work schools have to do to process free meal applications.

“Keeping kids from going hungry is one of the best investments our nation can make in our communities and in our economy,” said Porter, a single working mom of three school-aged kids. “Removing burdensome paperwork requirements will save schools money and allow more families—particularly the ones most in need—to get help. The No Hungry Kids in Schools Act will improve student achievement, attendance, and behavior, strengthening our workforce of tomorrow.”

“As a parent, the thought of anyone’s child going hungry at school is devastating and we must take steps to ensure every student has access to a school meal,” Aguilar said. “Providing children with healthy food at school improves health and academic performance. I’m proud to work with my friend Rep. Porter, a champion for our nation’s students, on this important legislation that will help kids and school districts.”

School meals are proven to help reduce child hunger and improve students’ health, academic achievement, attendance, and behavior. By alleviating the paperwork burden, the No Hungry Kids in Schools Act reduces administrative work for school districts and allows them to focus on providing healthy meals to students.

Porter’s legislation is cosponsored by Reps. Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), and Frederica Wilson (D-FL). Food Research and Action Center, California Association of Food Banks, and GRACE/End Child Poverty California have endorsed this legislation.

Porter has been a consistent advocate for keeping students fed and getting families the help they need. Earlier this year, following a push from Porter, Congress voted to extend the universal school meal program through the summer. Then, at the beginning of the school year, she again urged colleagues to keep this key program going. Porter has been a leading voice for universal child care, and she’s introduced bipartisan legislation to help families with high child care costs.