Minnesota legislation proposes free milk for students who bring their own lunch

School nutrition legislation has seen significant activity at the state level this week. In Minnesota, a proposed bill aims to offer reimbursement to schools providing milk to students who bring lunch from home. Meanwhile, an Oklahoma lawmaker is pushing for an expansion of farm-to-school initiatives within the state. Additionally, both Hawaii and Tennessee are exploring the possibility of introducing universal free meals in schools.

Stay updated with the latest developments in school nutrition legislation.

Minnesota bill would offer milk to students who bring meals from home

Minnesota Bill Proposes Free Milk for Students Bringing Lunch from Home

SF 3912 aims to provide schools with reimbursement for each half-pint of milk served to students who bring their own meals.

If the bill is approved, it will come into effect in fiscal year 2025. A similar bill has also been presented in the House.

Currently, all students in the state are provided with free school meals.

Oklahoma lawmaker places a focus on farm-to-school

An Oklahoma lawmaker aims to boost the use of locally sourced ingredients in school meals.

Senator Jessica Garvin has proposed SB 1473, a bill that aims to establish a farm-to-school grant program in the state. This program would not only provide financial assistance to schools, but also offer valuable resources and training to both school nutrition operators and farmers. Additionally, the bill seeks to promote leadership at the state level, encouraging school nutrition programs to incorporate more locally sourced ingredients into their meals.

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The Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee has already approved the bill, which is currently under review by the Appropriations Committee.

Farm-to-school programs are gaining popularity across the nation. In addition to offering farm-to-school grants through its Patrick Leahy Farm to School Grant Program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has made a significant investment of $60 million in purchasing commodities from local farms. Furthermore, the USDA has recently joined forces with the Urban School Food Alliance to assist schools in overcoming procurement obstacles, particularly when it comes to sourcing products locally.

Hawaii and Tennessee consider universal free school meals

Lawmakers in Hawaii and Tennessee have recently proposed legislation that aims to establish universal free school meal programs in their states.

Starting next school year, HB 1775 in Hawaii aims to ensure that every public school student in the state receives free breakfast and lunch at school.

Last year, a similar bill was introduced by the state, but unfortunately, it was held in the House.

In Tennessee, there is a proposed bill, HB 255, that aims to ensure that all public school students receive free breakfast and lunch. The bill seeks to provide universal access to meals for students in the state. To get a better idea of which states currently offer universal free meals, take a look at the map below.

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