Topic: Health

Creating a National Solution to Address School Meal Debt

Senior Policy Analyst

We have all seen the news stories — a child being denied a lunch in the cafeteria, a student being offered a sunflower butter and jelly sandwich instead of a hot lunch, a child who saw their lunch meal thrown in the trash on their birthday because they had accrued $9 in unpaid school meals fees while their free school meals application was being processed, and even a district threatening to put children with outstanding school meals debt in foster care.

While many states, such as California and New Mexico, are taking steps to address unpaid school meals debt and ensure all students have access to the nutrition they need to thrive, the stories keep coming out. We need a national solution.

Remember This December: Hunger is Solvable With School Lunch

Senior Policy Analyst

During the holidays and all year long, millions of individuals and families who struggle against hunger are able to access healthy food with support from the federal nutrition programs. To celebrate the nation’s nutrition safety net, FRAC is releasing a seven-part “Remember This December” series that will highlight the impact of seven important federal nutrition programs.

This is the second installment of the series, which focuses on school lunch. Read the previous installment on afterschool meals.

Remember This December: Hunger is Solvable With Afterschool Meals

Child Nutrition Policy Analyst

During the holidays and all year long, millions of individuals and families who struggle against hunger are able to access healthy food with support from the federal nutrition programs. To celebrate the nation’s nutrition safety net, FRAC has created a seven-part “Remember This December” series that will highlight the impact of seven important federal nutrition programs.

This is the first installment of the series, which focuses on afterschool meals.

Resource Roundup: School Meals Debt

Food Research & Action Center

There are a variety of reasons for school meals debt, including a change in household income status, a misunderstanding of school meals procedures, or simply forgetting to refill the account. Whatever the case may be, however, school districts should ensure that communication about the debt is held with the parent or guardian — not the student. The bottom line is that there are solutions to resolve school meals debt without embarrassing children.

Want to Effectively End Hunger in America? Dr. Kofi D. Essel Says We Must First Take on Racial and Economic Root Causes.

Digital Media Associate

Across the U.S., more than 40 million Americans live in households that struggle against hunger, with poverty and racial inequities often being root causes. FRAC recently spoke with Dr. Kofi Essel, Community Pediatrician, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, and Health Equity & Hunger Champion at Children’s National Health System and the George Washington School of Medicine & Health Sciences in Washington, D.C., about the importance of looking at and addressing hunger through a racial and economic lens.