Many families are facing economic hardships due to the impacts of COVID-19 and should not have the added stress of paying off their child’s school lunch debt. Representatives Ilhan Omar (D-MN-5) and Deb Haaland (D-NM-1) recently introduced H.R. 6430, the Suspend School Meal Debt Act. This bill will suspend collection of all student meal debt during the COVID-19 pandemic.
School meal debt results in students going hungry, experiencing lunch shaming, and financial pressure on their families. This bill would suspend any late fees associated with unpaid meals, cancel the meal debt for families, and require the Department of Agriculture to reimburse each school food authority and local educational agency. Families deserve support during this time, and this bill will provide much-needed economic relief.
We urge members of Congress to co-sponsor the Suspend School Meal Debt Act and to include it in the next stimulus package.
We need your voice: Tell Congress to support suspending school meal debt during COVID-19!
Check if your Representative is a co-sponsor of the bill. Call your Representative if they have not co-sponsored the bill (call 202-224-3121) and urge them to support the Suspend School Meal Debt Act.
Sample Call Script:
Hello, my name is ______ and I’m a constituent of Representative _____. I’m calling to ask you to support the Suspend School Meal Act, recently introduced by Rep. Ilhan Omar and Rep. Deb Haaland. Many families across the nation are facing economic hardships during the COVID-19 crisis and should not be burdened by the stress of paying off their child’s school lunch debt. Families deserve support during this time of crisis, not added economic burdens. I urge Representative _____ to support the passage of this bill. Will the Representative do so?
Let us know how your advocacy went and feel free to ask us any questions by emailing us at email@example.com.
Zayn Hasan, Legislative Fellow