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State leaders listened to the details of the bill Wednesday.
The bill would make sure every student on reduced lunch is given the opportunity to eat, whether or not they can pay. It also ensures that the student won't be punished for not paying or owing for past breakfast and lunch meals.
“Just feed them,” Collins said. “It’s not their responsibility. It’s not their fault they can't eat. It is somebody’s fault when they don’t eat.”
This bill specifies that a student must not be held personally responsible for a meal debt, regardless of the student’s age when the meal debt was incurred. It states a school must not require a student's parent or guardian to pay fees or costs from collection agencies hired to collect a meal debt.
If passed, the bill will go into effect next school year.
The K-12 subcommittee will vote on the Tennessee Hunger-Free Students Act in March.