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Statement Attributable to Michael J. Wilson, Director, Maryland Hunger Solutions
BALTIMORE — February 23, 2023, Maryland Hunger Solutions is urging the Maryland General Assembly to enact legislation to reduce hunger and bolster the health and learning of children across the state. Maryland Hunger Solutions recommends that the assembly advance:
- Primary and Secondary Education – Breakfast and Lunch Programs – Universal Expansion Act: If passed, this legislation would alter the current standards of the State Free Feeding Program, requiring that if a school participates in the federal School Breakfast Program or the National School Lunch Program, each student in the school must be offered a meal at no cost, and providing for the reimbursement rate at which the state will pay county boards and participating nonpublic schools for the meals offered to students, beginning in fiscal year 2025. fiscal year 2025.
- Maryland Meals for Achievement In-Classroom Breakfast Program — Annual Appropriation: This state-funded breakfast program allows eligible schools to serve breakfast in the classroom and after the bell at no cost to all students. This legislation would fully fund Maryland Meals for Achievement, a longstanding and successful state-funded program, and allow all eligible schools to participate.
Pandemic-era waivers that allowed school meals to be provided at no cost to all students ended in 2022. This year we can make free school meals for all a permanent reality for all Maryland students. School meals support students’ academic success, health, and overall well-being. Providing free school meals also eliminates applications and school meal debt.