Don’t Let Lunch Debt Starve Students

Target: Chuck Schumer, U.S. Senate Majority Leader

Goal: Cancel student lunch debt and advocate for free school meals.

Student loan debt cancellation has remained a hot topic, but lesser attention is paid to another type of debt that’s actively harming young people’s welfare: school lunch debt. An estimated 30 million kids in America struggle to pay for their lunch. While free or reduced-price lunches are offered to the most financially disadvantaged students in most regions, too many students still fall through the cracks of qualification. And because of other factors like stigma and paperwork, these students owe an average of nearly $200 a year for school lunches. Worse yet, they are sometimes reportedly publicly singled out or deprived of hot meals by angry administrators. Now, some states are taking steps to better look out for these kids who did nothing wrong.

Cancellation of student lunch debt is an idea that has gained significant traction in some states. This push is compounded by the fact that the child poverty rate nearly doubled following a refused extension by certain politicians of universal free lunches in the aftermath of the pandemic. And a potential legislative measure could restore this important benefit. The Universal School Meals Program Act would give every student in America unfettered access to breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.

Sign the petition below to support feeding all students.


Dear Senator Schumer,

The shaming of hungry students is a truly shameful act taking place in American schools. Just like the Medicaid Gap is depriving millions of Americans of healthcare access, the free school lunch qualification gap is sending about 30 million young people to class without a proper meal. And when these children cannot pay the average-$200 lunch debt they owe, they are apparently being singled out and punished by adults who should know better.

While legislators may not agree on student debt cancellation, they should be able to agree that no child should be forced to sacrifice sustenance because of a debt. Please make the regional trend of lunch debt cancellation a national goal. And support this action by bringing the Universal School Meals Program Act to the floor for a vote.

Ensure no American child leaves school hungry.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Yan Krukau

One Comment

  1. “SHAME ON YOU”. I bet when you people were in school. Your parents made sure you had lunch money or got HELP.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


187 Signatures

  • Maryann Piccione
  • Alice Rim
  • Mary and Roger Stephens
  • James Brown
  • Amber Remelin
  • Anne Corrigan
  • John B
  • Dakotah Woller
  • Evan Jane Kriss
  • Leia Peison
1 of 19123...19
Skip to toolbar