June 12, 2014

Extending the season

This seems to be school food week at Goat Rope. For some time, I've been blogging about and otherwise working on expanding free meals for kids in high-poverty schools through the federal Community Eligibility Provision.That program goes national this year, which means that wherever you are in the US, Gentle Reader, you can start bugging your school board to do the right thing.

Think about it: the way we deal with school meals through a free, reduced and paid system is out of line with how we do everything else. We don't charge some kids to ride the school bus or get classroom instruction or to play sports. Why should meals be any different? Hungry kids can't learn and there is a growing realization that good nutrition needs to be seen as just a part of the school day.

The US Department of Agriculture announced today that it was extending the deadline for school boards to apply for the program. Previously, the deadline was June 30; now it's August 31st. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports that over 28,000 US schools are eligible for the program. The USDA says that around 8 million kids go to those schools.

That means there are thousands of good little fights that can make a real difference for kids and families--plenty to go around. Let's win some.

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