Amelia, a 5-year-old student at Oakville Elementary School, socializes during lunch in March at the school in Oakville, Mo. Kids who eat school meals tend to have a healthier diet.
Brian Munoz/St. Louis Public Radio
A student carries her plate which consists of three bean chili, rice, mandarins and cherry tomatoes and baked chips during her lunch break at a local public school, Friday, Feb. 10, 2023.
A third-grader punches in her student identification to pay for a meal at Gonzales Community School in Santa Fe, N.M. During the pandemic, schools were able to offer free school meals to all children regardless of need. Now advocates want to make that policy permanent.