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Congress extends school lunch program at last minute

June 28, 2022


Congress voted on June 24 to extend the pandemic-era school meal waivers program, credited with providing millions of children access to free meals, narrowly averting a June deadline. Advocates say the delay in passing the extension has already jeopardized access to summer meals for nearly 7 million children. 

For a transcript of the story, click here.

Five Facts

  • When was the Pandemic School Meal Waiver Program set to expire?
  • Who opposed this bill in Congress?
  • Why does the new bill make it harder for kids to receive free meals? 
  • How did delaying the extension affect schools’ summer meal programs?
  • What do advocates say is a more permanent solution regarding school meals? 

Focus Questions

Did you know that one in six children go hungry (approximately 12 million) in America at some point in the year? You can find out where that number came from here. Do you think public schools should provide no-cost lunch to schoolchildren in the U.S.? Explain. How do you think the pandemic make it harder for families to afford food? 

While the pandemic has negatively impacted society in many ways, programs initiated because of the pandemic like the Pandemic School Meal Waiver Program greatly benefitted low-income students. Can you think of other school-related programs that help students which should be made into an entitlement and not be put in jeopardy based on the political whims of Congress?

Media literacy: Who else would you have interviewed for this segment?

For More

Civic engagement activity:

To combat food insecurity and hunger in your community, consider donating products to your local food bank, starting a food drive or volunteering at a food bank. Visit Feeding America, a national organization dedicated to fighting hunger, to find your local food bank and learn more.

Short bio:

Evelyn Chi, a rising sophomore at Amherst College and intern with NewsHour Classroom, wrote today’s Daily News Lesson with editing by Victoria Pasquantonio.

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