Four bills designed to expand access to school meals were passed Thursday by the full Assembly and now head back to the Senate for final approval before moving to the governor’s desk.

The package includes measures to get more public school students enrolled in federally funded breakfast and lunch programs.

The bills cleared the full Senate in March, but were amended before advancing through the Assembly during Thursday’s voting session. The Senate must approve them before the governor can sign them.

The legislation would require eligible schools to adopt or apply for federally funded meal programs to ensure more students are eating breakfast on a daily basis and that meals continue during the summer. They also task school districts with collecting data to help assess the amount of student lunch debt amassed by schools, which has led to lunch shaming and kids being denied meals.

Contact: 609-272-7251 Twitter @clairelowe

Staff Writer

I began covering South Jersey in 2008 after graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism. I joined The Press in 2015. In 2013, I was awarded a NJPA award for feature writing as a reporter for The Current of Hamilton Township.

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