Eliminating Copay for School Lunch Program

When the 2020 legislative session kicks off Monday in Olympia, one lawmaker plans to push hard for her bill that would keep low-income students from missing their noontime meal. Dan Frizzell from the House Democratic Caucus has more.

Pierce County State Representative Melanie Morgan is deputy floor leader for the majority House Democrats in Olympia, but not too long ago she was a single mom raising four kids on a limited income. She remembers how tough it was to afford even the copay for the state’s reduced-cost lunch program, and wants to make sure no student has to skip lunch because their parents didn’t have enough money.

MORGAN: “I was one of those parents, a single parent of four children. They were on free/reduced lunch, and coming up with 40 cents per child for the whole school year is a hardship. This is why it’s important that we as the state take responsibility. No one wants to see children go hungry.”

Morgan is scaling back her bill from last session that would have eliminated the copay for all students eligible for the reduced-cost lunch. That’s a benefit already extended to K-3 students throughout the state, and the revamped legislation would cover all elementary grades. In Olympia, I’m Dan Frizzell.