A “pandemic experiment:” Free school lunches for all

When COVID-19 shut down schools last March, there were already about 11 million children in the country living in food insecure homes, with experts from the No Kid Hungry advocacy group predicting that the number would jump to 18 million during the pandemic.

Previous restrictions to free and reduced-price school meals were lifted, allowing districts across the country to feed families in need, no questions asked. In Finneytown, the school social worker and student volunteers hand out free meals to anyone who wants them every Tuesday.

This has been a lifesaver for many families, and it’s a program Cathy McNair, the social worker, wants to continue. “Personally, I think it would be great if we had food, and if kids wanted food, they got food,” she says.

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