The Missing Middle: How To Feed America's Neglected Kids At School
For HuffPost, Vermont State Sen. Brian Campion and CAPA Director of Public Policy Programs, shares how he helped guarantee that Vermont schoolchildren all have access to local, fresh foods for the 2022-23 school year.
The feature discusses the one-year pilot project meant to extend the federal government’s COVID-relief programs. Campion’s take shows how granting this kind of access to healthy food helps the “missing middle” (families that don’t qualify for federal free and reduced-price school lunches, but are still experiencing food insecurity).
Last year, a bill was drafted that guaranteed that breakfast and lunch would be available to all students every day in our schools. Once federal funding dried up, there was a need and strong interest in the state to continue providing this service for schoolchildren. "It was interesting to see. It was expensive, but there was also no question that access to food is an issue for kids in our schools," said Campion.
Campion writes, "Something really compelling to me is that the bill includes that a percentage of these foods have to come from local farms. So now, it’s not just about feeding kids. It’s an economic development bill, too."