FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 22, 2013
General Counsel & Press Secretary
AUSTIN — Today, Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. (D-Brownsville) announces Senate passage of a bill intended to increase student participation in the federal government's School Breakfast Program.
Senate Bill 376 would require that all school districts and open-enrollment charter schools participating in the federal School Breakfast Program provide a free breakfast to each student, if 80 percent or more of that school's students qualify for free or reduced-price meals.
The bill previously passed out of the Senate Committee on Education last week.
"Passage of this bill is crucial because so many Texas children rely on school meals during the academic year," Senator Lucio said. "One in four Texas children are food insecure, meaning they are not certain where their next meal will come from. This bill helps close the gap between a hungry child and a healthy child."
The School Breakfast Program is a federally-funded program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Program. Children from families with incomes at or below 130 percent of federal poverty level are eligible for free breakfast under the Program. School districts are reimbursed by the USDA for meals provided under the Program. Federal law already provides that schools in “severe need” — that is, school districts in which 40 percent or more of their meals are served for free or at a reduced price — receive additional reimbursements from USDA.
Passage of Senate Bill 376 would cost neither the state nor school districts additional money. In fact, under this bill, because schools are receiving additional funding per meal and are serving more meals, the program becomes more cost effective for schools. Ultimately, the bill makes it easier for schools to administer the School Breakfast Program.
Now passed out of the Senate, Senate Bill 376 moves to the Texas House of Representatives.