ARTICLE: North Carolina’s Child Nutrition Advocates Embrace National Effort to Provide Free School Meals for All


From transportation to books, schools provide students with various resources at no cost to them to help them be successful. North Carolina’s school nutrition leaders are trying to add meals to that list.

The Carolina Hunger Initiative held a debrief this week following the recent White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health

“Kids are provided books, they are provided transportation to schools – so why not feed the kids for free as well?” asked Ruth McDowell, president of the School Nutrition Association of N.C. and director of school nutrition services for Edgecombe County Public Schools.

At September’s White House conference, the Biden-Harris administration stated their intention to provide a pathway toward free school meals for every student, starting with a plan to ensure that at least 9 million more children across the United States have access to free school meals by 2032.

“We’re really excited about this goal,” said Andrew Harrell, program and communication manager for the Carolina Hunger Initiative. 

Harrell said that 2032, however, may even be a little too far away. 

“We think we can get it done here sooner in North Carolina,” said Harrell.

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