Developed and maintained by the Division of Legislative Automated Systems.


  • | print version

HB 686 School meals; availability at no cost to students.

Introduced by: Elizabeth B. Bennett-Parker | all patrons    ...    notes | add to my profiles


School meals; availability at no cost to students. Provides that each school board shall require each public elementary and secondary school in the local school division to participate in the federal National School Lunch Program and the federal School Breakfast Program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture or in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) as provided in relevant law, if applicable, and to make lunch and breakfast available to any student who requests such a meal at no cost to the student, unless the student's parent has provided written permission to the school board to withhold such a meal from the student. The bill also requires the Department of Education to reimburse each public elementary and secondary school for each school breakfast and lunch served to a student, with a maximum of one breakfast and one lunch per student per school day, and provides the formula for determining the state reimbursement rate for such meals. The bill contains provisions directing each school board to adopt policies and procedures aimed at maximizing access to federal funds available for the cost of participating in school breakfast and lunch programs and maximizing determinations of student eligibility for federal free or reduced cost meal reimbursements rates and participation in CEP. The bill also lowers the minimum identified student percentage for a school to be eligible to participate in CEP from 40 to 25 percent in accordance with the updated federal CEP regulations (7 C.F.R. § 245.9(f)(3)(i)). The bill also requires the Secretary of Education, in coordination with the Secretary of Finance, to convene a stakeholder work group to study and make recommendations on ways to avoid or mitigate the impact of offering statewide free school breakfast and lunches on other state-funded programs and to submit a report on such findings and recommendations by January 15, 2025, to the Senate Committee on Education and Health and the House Committee on Education. The bill also repeals provisions of law relating to the federal School Breakfast Program and to school meal debt that are rendered obsolete by the provisions of the bill.