(Las Vegas, NV)- Congresswoman Dina Titus shared a special lunch with students from Whitney Elementary School on Monday. It was all part of her new push to make sure every student has the food they need to succeed in the classroom. She is behind the Helping Hungry Students Learn Act, a bill that would provide food to children in need 365 days a year.
“This is going to be expensive, but I consider it an investment, not an expenditure, ” expressed Congresswoman Titus. The bill would aim to take step to increase participation in existing child nutrition programs. Specifically, the bill would:
• Help more students eat breakfast by instituting free breakfast for all students who want it and “alternative breakfast serving models” in high poverty schools.
• Reduce the financial strain on students and the administrative burden for schools by eliminating the “reduced-price category” for the National School Lunch Program, allowing all children who qualify for the program to receive free lunch.
• Address hunger during the summer months by providing a small increase in SNAP benefits for families with school aged children.
• Keep kids from going hungry on the weekends and during short school holidays by establishing a pilot program to help local institutions provide students with supplemental weekend meals.
“We need to make sure that our kids have full tummies so when they go to school they are able to focus on learning. They’ll stay longer, they’ll do better and they’ll graduate…which means they are more likely to be successful,” stressed the Congresswoman.
The Congressional Budget Office has not yet provided the scoring for this bill, so it is unclear how much a program like this would cost.
Currently, more than 55 % of Clark County School District students are participating in the “free and reduced price meals” program.