| A little over a week ago, I wrote on that day's sampler platter:
The USDA is cutting off Philadelphia's "Universal Feeding" school lunch program. The program waives the requirement of filling out paperwork and automatically guarantees free school breakfasts and lunches to children at schools in poor areas. Compared to schools that require paperwork to qualify children for meals, Philly's schools boast nearly twice the participation rate. Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Janey Thornton said it was unfair for kids in Philly to get free food without extending that to children nationwide. Well... why not extend this program to schools in poor areas nationwide then??
As this news broke, PA Representatives Fattah and Sestak and PA Senator Casey met with Tom Vilsack to oppose the USDA's decision. Sestak said at the time he was drafting legislation to continue Philly's Universal Feeding and to extend the program to other cities.
Today, we've got good news! Philly's Universal Feeding Program is saved! And not only that, but we can expect to see legislation from Fattah as well as Sestak to expand the program nationally. Fantastic!
UPDATE: Arlen Specter just introduced this bill that would continue the program through the 2012/2013 school year.