Advantages Of Universal Free Meals

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No Child Should Go Hungry
Recent research shows that many children who do not have enough to eat wind up with diminished capacity to understand and learn. Children don’t have to be starving for this to happen. Even mild undernutrition – the kind most common among poor people in America – can do it. Carl Sagan
A statewide universal free meal program for public schools would ensure that children have enough to eat during the school day and would promote good health, esteem and academics. While Indiana does offer a free/reduced meal program, it requires each family to fill out a standard form and meet eligibility guidelines. Since the program is funded by the federal government, funds are only allotted to the school for qualifying families who have completed the form. Unfortunately, not every family that is eligible for the program completes the form for reasons such as, they did not know the program existed or they are too ashamed to ask for assistance. On the other hand, some families complete the form but do not qualify for the program due to their income being too high. Just because these families fall outside the income guidelines of the program does not mean they are able to pay for the meals. A lot of families that are over income still struggle to afford the school meals. In spite of taxpayers and Title 1 funding objections, states should elect for universal free meals within our public-schools because of health, esteem, and academic advantages.
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