Why schools are struggling to feed students
Six months into schools’ pandemic-driven experiment in distance learning, much has been said (and debated) about whether children are learning. But the more urgent question, for the more than 30 million kids who depend on U.S. schools for free or reduced-price meals, is this: Are they eating?
Among low-income households with children who qualify for free or reduced-price school meals, only about 15% have actually been getting those meals. School nutrition directors across the country tell a similar story. In many districts, the majority of children who qualify for subsidized school meals aren’t getting them — often because they can’t get to them. Some say their meal-service budgets are being stretched so much by the pandemic that they could soon face cuts and layoffs.