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Nutritionists pushing free meal programs for students

Nutritionists pushing free meal programs for students
Published: Mar. 18, 2021 at 11:03 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 18, 2021 at 11:04 PM CDT
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WARRICK CO., Ind. (WFIE) - Nutritionists across the country are pushing federal officials to continue nationwide school meal programs.

The goal is to expand the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs to permanently provide all students meals at no charge throughout the school day.

Shenae Rowe from the Warrick County School Corporation has met virtually with reps for Sen. Todd Young and Rep. Larry Bucshon about the issue.

She says the push is not only to help relieve a financial burden for families, but to also make sure students are eating a healthy meal every day.

“School meals help foster healthy eating habits,” Rowe said. “It improves academic achievements for the kids. And if we can provide it at no cost to the students, it will reduce that stigma that sometimes school meals have where ‘it’s just for low income students.’ That’s not the case at all. Our meals are shown to be healthier and have more fresh fruits and vegetables than meals packed from home. And we follow incredibly strict guidelines provided by the (U.S. Department of Agriculture).”

Rowe says she plans to continue to reach out to congressional leaders while USDA officials decide if they will continue the free food programs for the 2021-2022 school year.

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