Letter to the Editor | Let’s Feed Our Kids

Iowa State Senator, Janice Weiner, on SF 303.



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As Iowans, when a neighbor, family member, or friend is in need, we lend a helping hand to deliver meals. But what about Iowa’s children?

When COVID-19 was hitting Americans the hardest, Congress passed legislation under both former president Donald Trump and President Joe Biden that gave our school-aged children free access to healthy meals so they could remain fed in the face of so much uncertainty, regardless of income.

Related: Opinion | Universal free-lunch programs are overdue

In summer 2022, when that meal assistance expired, the need did not. Now, many parents who do not qualify for income-based free and reduced meals but are still food-insecure are left with yet another worry.

Kids can’t learn and thrive if they are hungry. This is why I, along with 12 of my Democratic colleagues in the Iowa Senate, introduced Senate File 303, which would allow all Iowa public school students, regardless of income, to receive healthy, nutritious free lunch and breakfast at school.

Currently, 42.7 percent of Iowa’s public school students are eligible for free and reduced lunch. With the reality of high prices hitting many, urban and rural, it makes sense. That way, we can nourish kids’ bodies and their minds.

The federal government already picks up part of the tab — the state would assume the remainder. For the love of our kids, I welcome anyone interested in working with me to get this bill passed.

  • Janice Weiner, Iowa State Senator SD45