WV Senate Committee creates wide-sweeping school lunch bi - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

WV Senate Committee creates wide-sweeping school lunch bill

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West Virginia lawmakers want to be sure no public school students in Kindergarten through 12th grades worry about their next meals.

A bill created by the Senate's Select Committee on Children and Poverty, Senate Bill 663, which would create the "West Virginia Feed to Achieve Act," passed that committee early March 27 and was reported to the full Senate in the evening that day.

The bill would use private donations and grants to fund the expanded lunch programs, and it would require all schools to adopt better systems for providing breakfast.

Lawmakers learned in the morning committee meeting that students often don't have time to eat the school-provided breakfast before classes start, so the bill would recommend students eat breakfast in the classroom or after their first class of the day.

The Department of Education and each county board of education would establish nonprofit funds to collect contributions for the lunch program. The bill would stipulate that each dollar contributed would be required to be used for food and not for administrative purposes.

The Department called the bill a good thing, and the West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families Coalition, on behalf of the Our Children, Our Future Campaign to End Child Poverty said the bill made for a proud day.

"The message is clear: the Senate is listening to our hungry kids," West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families Coalition Executive Director Stephen Smith said in a news release.

The bill was read a first time on the Senate floor during the March 27 evening session.