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Some Florida students could eat breakfast for free if new bill is passed

Posted at 10:19 PM, Feb 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-03 14:49:47-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A new proposed bill would allow more Florida students to eat school breakfast for free.

If SB 1656/HB 1187 is passed, students who are barely above the poverty level would now eat breakfast meals at school for free.

The proposed bill eliminates the reduced-price copayment for school breakfast meals, with the Department of Agriculture reimbursing participating schools.

The reimbursement must be based on the greater of 30 cents or the difference between the USDA reimbursement rate for a free breakfast meal and the reduced-price breakfast meal, according to the proposed bill.

Florida State Senator Ana Maria Rodriguez said the bill would ensure that federal children's nutrition programs will continue to provide healthy meals and snacks for students in need.

If passed, the bill will go into effect on July 1, 2022, and 8,000 more children in Florida will qualify for the free meals and more than 1.3 million breakfasts will be served to eligible students.