California has become the first state to offer completely free breakfast and lunch to students of all ages. Though some cities like Boston and Chicago offer free meals, this is the first statewide program to do so. The Universal Meals Program kicks off this fall and will provide free meals to any student in the public school system who requests them, regardless of income level. According to Feeding America, 1 in 6 children in America experience food insecurity. The new statewide program includes “nutritiously adequate” meals to help combat the hunger crisis among children. The program will ensure that all California students can be fueled enough to focus on their schoolwork instead of where their next meal is coming from. If the program is successful, it will hopefully encourage other states to follow suit.
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