What research shows about universal school meals programs as more states adopt them
Statewide policies like these are new, but the practice of providing universal free meals isn’t. And researchers have been studying this for years. That means we have a good sense of what these state policies will mean for students, families, and schools. In short, research suggests that universal school meal programs accomplish their main goal: expand access to breakfast and lunch at school.
Relatedly, families with children at schools with universal meals are less likely to struggle to afford groceries. Free meals may also reduce lunch stigma and school administrative burdens. Universal meals may create academic benefits, too: Some studies show that they improve students’ test scores or attendance rates. Here, though, the evidence is equivocal. Other studies do not show clear benefits or only find them for certain groups of students.
Full article here: https://www.chalkbeat.org/2023/8/10/23825754/free-universal-school-meals-lunch-breakfast-research-studies-bullying-groceries-academics-states
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