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SCHOOL MEALS: Rep. Pingree’s Bipartisan Bills to Source School Meals Locally, Reduce School Food Waste Advance Through House Education and Labor Committee

Today, the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee advanced the Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act, which includes food and nutrition bills championed by Congresswoman Pingree

Today the House Education and Labor Committee advanced H.R. 8450, the Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act, which includes four major bills supported by Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine).

The bills championed by Pingree and included in the Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act include:

  • Kids Eat Local Act - Bipartisan legislation introduced by Pingree that would allow schools the purchasing flexibility to support local farmers and increase access to local, healthy foods in our schools.
  • School Food Recovery Act - Introduced by Pingree, this bipartisan bill would create a new U.S. Department of Agriculture program offering grants for schools to implement food waste reduction programs. Eligible grant activities would include food waste measurement and reporting, prevention, education, and reduction projects, including purchasing equipment and providing training.
  • Food Donation Improvement Act - Bipartisan legislation led by Pingree alongside Representatives James P. McGovern (D-Mass.), Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.), and Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) that would update ambiguous, outdated, and limited liability protections to encourage business and organizations to donate food, which would reduce both food waste and hunger while fighting climate change. 
  • No Shame at School Act - Cosponsored by Pingree, the bill prohibits schools from shaming students who receive free or reduced lunch, helping students facing food insecurity feel safe and comfortable in their learning environments. It also requires schools to attempt to directly certify a child with unpaid meal and allows schools to be retroactively reimbursed for meals served to a child. 

“Some of my top food and nutrition priorities took another step towards becoming a reality today, and I am especially grateful to Chairman Scott and Civil Rights and Human Services Subcommittee Chair Suzanne Bonamici for their help moving these bills forward in the Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act,” said Pingree. “This package includes legislation I have long championed to bring farm-fresh food to schools, reduce the environmental scourge of food waste, increase donations of unused food, and reduce the shame that food insecure children feel at school. I’m hopeful that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will support this commonsense legislation to end childhood hunger, improve the health of our young people, and fight the climate crisis.”

To learn more about Pingree’s efforts to reduce food waste, end hunger, and fight climate change, click here.





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