Rep. Waldron Announces Free Lunch Interim Study to Address School Nutrition

Ponca City Now - October 1, 2023 4:59 pm

Rep. John Waldron

OKLAHOMA CITY  – Representative John Waldron, D-Tulsa, is set to host an interim study focused on free school lunches and their impact on child nutrition. The study, titled “Free School Lunches: Examining Developments and Expanding Eligibility,” aims to explore recent developments in school lunch programs and assess the potential cost of expanding eligibility for Free and Reduced Lunch programs.

IS23-099 is scheduled for Monday, October 2 at 8:00 AM in Room 206 at the State Capitol, 2300 N Lincoln Blvd.

The study will cover a range of topics, including the connection between nutrition and child brain development, the issue of food insecurity in Oklahoma, school lunch economics, emerging data navigation systems for school nutrition, and the implementation of school lunch programs in urban settings. Expert speakers from various fields including Dr. Robert Murray, pediatrician, Chris Bernard, Executive Director of Hunger Free Oklahoma, and Shonia Hall, Nutrition Program Director at Oklahoma City Public Schools, among others, will provide valuable insights and perspectives.

“Effective school nutrition programs are a boost to learning and a powerful way to fight food insecurity. Our study will examine the data to show how we can improve and expand school lunch access to yield even more benefits to Oklahoma schoolchildren.”  Waldron said

Rep. Waldron aims to examine recent developments in school lunch programs, including the rise in lunch debt due to the expiration of pandemic-era federal programs and the potential use of new data streams to enable more districts to achieve the Community Eligibility Provision(CEP). Additionally, the study will explore the cost implications of expanding eligibility for Free and Reduced Lunch programs if more districts were covered by CEP.

The interim study is open to the public, and interested individuals and organizations are encouraged to participate and provide input. The findings and recommendations from this study will inform future legislative efforts to strengthen school nutrition programs across the state.

Other members included in the study are Representative Annie Menz and Senator Jessica Garvin.

For more information, please contact Rep. Waldron’s office at [email protected] or (405) 557- 7410.


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