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Rep. Porter Introduces Bills Expanding Free Meals for Students

Legislation would reduce paperwork burden for parents, broaden free meal eligibility

Today, Representative Katie Porter (D-CA) introduced two bills to strengthen free meal programs for students across the country. The No Hungry Kids in Schools Act, co-led by Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA), would allow states to provide free meals to all schools in eligible districts, saving families money and reducing the time parents and individual schools spend dealing with paperwork.

“Keeping kids fed is the right thing to do, and it’s proven to help them focus and learn,” said Rep. Katie Porter, a single mom of three school-aged children. “Today’s students are tomorrow’s workforce, and nutritious school meals boost achievement, attendance, and behavior, strengthening our nation’s future. I’m grateful to my friend, Rep. Aguilar, for helping to lead the fight to expand free meals in schools while reducing burdensome requirements for administrators and parents.”

“As a father of two school-age children, the thought of any child going hungry in school is devastating,” said Rep. Pete Aguilar.“We must ensure every student has access to a school meal. Providing children with nutritious food improves their health and academic performance. I’m proud to work with my friend Rep. Porter, a leader on this issue and a champion for our nation’s students, on this critical legislation that will help kids and school districts across the country.”

Eleven additional members cosponsored the No Hungry Kids in Schools Act, including Reps. Frederica Wilson (D-FL), Linda Sanchez (D-CA), Donald Payne Jr. (D-NJ), André Carson (D-IN), Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Jill Tokuda (D-HI), Kevin Mullin (D-CA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), and Dwight Evans (D-PA).

Rep. Porter’s Expanding Access to School Meals Act would extend free meal eligibility to more families by modernizing income thresholds and making it easier to reach students in need. This bill breaks down bureaucratic barriers and helps students from low-income families get nutritious food. 

The Expanding Access to School Meals Act is cosponsored by Reps. Donald Payne Jr. (D-NJ), André Carson (D-IN), Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Jill Tokuda (D-HI), Kevin Mullin (D-CA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), and Dwight Evans (D-PA).

Congresswoman Porter is dedicated to keeping students fed and getting families the help they need. During National School Breakfast Week, she urged Congress to provide school meals for every child as part of the appropriations process. Last year, Rep. Porter successfully lobbied Congress to extend universal school meals throughout the entire summer. She called for her colleagues to extend the program again in the fall. Rep. Porter has always advocated for greater investment in students and their educational needs.

Read the full bill texts: No Hungry Kids in School Act | Expanding Access to School Meals Act